REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL FOR THE CITY OF NOVI

THURSDAY, APRIL 17, 1997 - 7:30 P.M.

ACTIVITIES ROOM - NOVI CIVIC CENTER - 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

 

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

 

 

ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen, Mayor Pro Tem Crawford, Council Members Clark, Kramer, Mitzel (arrived 8:00), Mutch, Schmid (arrived 7:40)

 

 

ALSO PRESENT: City Manager Ed Kriewall, Assistant City Manager Craig Klaver, Deputy City Clerk Nancy Reutter

 

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None

 

Police Chief Shaeffer introduced the Police Departmentís management staff; Deputy Chief Al Rasmussen, Lt. Dave Butler, Lt. Tim McNamara, Communications Manager Joe Burchett, Office Manager Linda Harrison and Planner Analyst Brenda Borders.

 

 

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

 

Ed Kriewall requested they add, Schedule an Executive Session to discuss Property Acquisition as Item 5.

 

CM-97-04-120: Moved by Crawford, Seconded by Clark, MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Agenda as amended

 

 

Vote on CM-97-04-120: Yeas: McLallen, Crawford, Clark, Kramer, Mutch

Nay: None

 

 

PURPOSE OF MEETING - 1997-98 Budget Study Session

 

 

PROPOSED BUDGET REVIEW:

 

 

1. Police

 

Mr. Kriewall stated personnel is the most important part of the equation for the Police Department. Mr. Kriewall stated they just completed hiring most of the officers this year and because they are in reasonable shape from a patrol officer staffing standpoint, they removed the request for additional patrol officers. Although they initially removed the request for three part time dispatchers, they were added back in because they had some turnover. He is checking into the success other cities have had with part time dispatchers. Chief Shaeffer brought three things to Councilís attention that are not funded. One is Personnel, especially in terms of police officers. Chief Shaeffer explained they have ongoing grant applications under the COPS Grant and he is expecting further announcements to take place in July or August. Further, he reminded Council that any money granted cannot supplant any current budgeted funds. Consequently, if Council budgets for additional manpower in terms of police officers and the grant is awarded, they cannot use those funds to pay for those officers. Therefore, he cannot recommend that Council fund that. However, he would like to inform Council where their manpower is in terms of police and non-sworn officers so they will have a relationship of understanding if they do receive grant funding.

 

Chief Shaeffer referred to a chart that illustrates the historical development of the Novi Police Department. He reported they reached a plateau in approximately 1990 and lost one person due to the expiration of a grant. He added they experienced a similar situation in terms of non-sworn personnel where they were recommending that they lose one position and use that savings to fund other things. He reported they not only lost the position, but they were unable to use the money for the other things. Consequently, they are still down one non-sworn from that time. In the 1995-96 Budget, the City was able to fund the lost officer and they received a federal grant for two additional officers. The Chief reported in the current budget year, they received funding for five additional officers. He explained four of them are in a twenty-five percent matching program and one is a non-matching domestic violence officer. Chief Shaeffer reported they currently have fifty-seven sworn officers and twenty-five non-sworn employees.

 

Over the years, Chief Shaeffer said Council asked for numerous recommendations to understand what the staffing needs within the Police Department should really be. Coopers Lybrand prepared the most recent report last year and it recommended that there be 1.512 officers per every thousand population. The Chief noted they would have to add five officers to reach that level. Further, they recommended 0.59 non-sworn employees for every thousand population and that would equate to only slightly more than what they already have.

 

Chief Shaeffer reported Council commissioned a Police & Fire Needs Committee in 1996 that recommended a level of 1.6 officers per thousand population. At that ratio, they would have to add an additional eight officers. He added the Committee did not make any recommendations in terms of non-sworn staff. Further, after conducting a survey in Oakland Count, the Committee discovered the average is 1.76 officers per thousand population which would mean they would have to add fifteen officers.

 

Chief Shaeffer stated they initiated a Strategic Planning Program in 1995 that recommended 1.56 officers per thousand population and represented seven additional officers. In 1989, the prior Administration conducted an internal study and recommended that they maintain a 1.5 ratio and they added five officers to reach that level. In 1987, the Police & Fire Needs Committee also recommended a 1.5 ratio and they added five officers to achieve that level.

Councilwoman Mutch asked if they also looked at similar size in the Oakland County comparison. Chief Shaeffer replied they looked at communities that were similar in crime and number of arrests.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if there is a minimum number of people that they need to have. She explained once they remove that and when they compare across the county, she asked how would Novi compare. Chief Shaeffer cannot answer that question because he does not see a strong correlation between the two. For example; Auburn Hills has a population of 17,000 and they have a ratio of 2.4 officers per thousand population, Southfield has a population of 75,000 and they have a ratio of 2.07, West Bloomfield has a population of 62,000 and they have a ratio of 1.06. He noted however that West Bloomfield passed a millage and are adding to their officers.

 

Mr. Kriewall asked where do the temporary dispatcher positions appear. Councilman Kramer noted they requested $49,000, but recommended $13,000 on Page 18 in the backup material.

 

Councilman Kramer asked what is the status of Page 14 where it includes three new part time dispatchers for $39,528. Mr. Gibson reported the $36,000 did not get entered.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if that means $13,000 is currently being used. Mr. Gibson replied that is correct. He added the $39,528 figure includes Social Security and that is the number they should use.

 

Mr. Gibson referred to l Page 18 and noted they will be adding $36,000 to the Temporary Salaries for a total of $49,000 which is equal to the amount in the Requested column. They will also increase the Social Security line so it will total $39,528. Further, Mr. Gibson stated the total Personal Services will increase by $39,528.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford stated the number of permanent dispatchers remains the same and asked if they are requesting an addition of three part time dispatchers. Chief Shaeffer stated that is correct.

 

Chief Shaeffer noted if Council approves the five officers, that would bring their staffing to the recommended levels. He noted it would cost the City $57,235 under the twenty-five percent matching federal grant in the first year. Finally, the fifth year would require $228,000 at which point the City will assume the full cost.

 

Mayor McLallen described the COPS Program for the benefit of Councilman Kramer.

 

Mr. Kriewall stated they cannot recommend the additional officers in this budget because there is a likelihood they are going to receive additional grant funding and he believes they should take advantage of it. He explained there are many established and grown communities around the nation that could use this money, but they cannot afford to assume the financial liability associated with the grant. Consequently, they have to redirect the grant to growing communities like Novi.

 

Chief Shaeffer believes what makes this attractive to Novi is that Novi is a growing community and will continue to grow. However, with that growth there is an increase demand for services in all areas. Given that growth, they will also have to provide a means of funding that they might otherwise have to pay for entirely themselves.

 

Councilman Schmid asked what occurs when a community stops growing. Chief Shaeffer replied they lose their additional new growth income. Further, if they find themselves with a deteriorating infrastructure, there is a dramatic increase for services and no funding available.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked how have the laptop computers worked out. Chief Shaeffer replied it is an outstanding program and they are attracting attention from everyone. He is also happy to report that they were well within budget. The other component is they were thirty days behind because of scheduling problems during Christmas. They are expecting to be completely on line by the end of July.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked what positive impact have the computers had so far. Chief Shaeffer replied they have not yet installed them, but expects to receive them by next Wednesday and they will then enter the training cycle. He added it appears that the County plans to copy their system.

 

Councilman Kramer asked if the $57,000 estimate under Liabilities should be provided by a grant to include equipment use as a capital investment. Chief Shaeffer replied it does include that. Further, they generally figure they must have one car for every two officers.

 

Mayor McLallen stated the next area of concern for the police budget is Capital. Police Shaeffer said they are primarily concerned with the building. He believes Council already knows about the problems with the building and noted that Mr. Kriewall was able to fund the ADA requirement in his base budget, but it still leaves another quarter of a million dollars unfunded for building concerns.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if there is anything in the budget that would help them become a twenty-four-hour user friendly facility. Chief Shaeffer replied the building in itself cannot do that because that component is entirely dependent upon personnel. The Chief explained under their current structure, the only way he can staff the building is by removing officers from street patrol.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they could provide an auxiliary cadet program. The Chief replied the City would have to negotiate that with the union.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the addition of a cadet or auxiliary program would jeopardize any present officer positions. Chief Shaeffer replied it would not affect current positions.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how do they initiate such a program because he would like to see the building accessible on a twenty-four-hour friendly basis. He would also like to see some type of cadet or auxiliary program added.

 

Mr. Kriewall stated they could initially discuss it in an Executive Session.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford specifically would like to see the main lobby open to the public twenty-four hours.

 

Councilwoman Mutch thinks they should first determine if there is Council consensus for the concept of a twenty-four-hour police station.

 

Councilwoman Mutch, Councilman Clark and Mayor ProTem Crawford support a twenty-four-hour police station.

 

Councilman Schmid does not know if he disagrees, but he would like to know what it would cost. He believes they need to choose their priorities carefully.

 

Councilman Mitzel stated his comments are similar to Councilman Schmid. He believes they need to establish the level of service they expect and the cost associated with it.

 

Mayor McLallen believes this is a pertinent time to discuss this because it is early in the budget process and this is a community issue. Mayor McLallen believes there is Council consensus to pursue this item during the budget process in terms of what the Police Department believes would be an appropriate service level.

 

Mr. Kriewall believes they could probably accomplish this without adding officers if they used a plexiglass screen in the clerical area.

 

Mayor McLallen stated the issue is to get people into a safe haven.

 

Chief Shaeffer stated they do have some research; he will update it and bring it back before Council before June.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford stated he would like to start the process.

Councilman Kramer suggested that they make this an agenda item during the budget process.

 

Mayor McLallen reported right now only capital for the building is $175,000 which was essentially money for ADA compliance. The Mayor asked if there are any areas in the building based on the findings of the committee that is in need for immediate attention.

 

Chief Shaeffer asked Council to recall that there is a domino effect in terms of the needed repairs. However, he noted their major concern is the integrity of the building itself. They need to stop the leaking, they need to replace their generator and install emergency generators. Coupled with that there is a need for some infrastructure changes inside the building. He noted the ADA is a major concern and he is grateful they can satisfy that. Chief Shaeffer noted the proposed Miscellaneous Capital Improvements was pared down to $246,000 from $346,000. The Chief stated there are some internal building alterations that they believe are also necessary. Chief Shaeffer stated the building was intended for expansion and as he understands it, they did not build a portion of the jail as a cost saving measure to be built at a later date. The Chief reported the jail currently accommodates nine and they frequently hold twenty. Further, there are no individual isolation cells and since they built the building, they have blood packaging standards with which they are required to comply. He added they are often overpopulating the cells and they have reached a point where they have to do something with them.

 

Mayor McLallen noted because of the 52-1 District Court, Novi facilitates the temporary housing for prisoners. She asked if they receive adequate reimbursement for this service. Chief Shaeffer replied what they see from the court is something more than one prisoner per day and something less than two prisoners per day on the average. He stated the prisoner fluctuation is coming from Novi because they are making significantly more arrests. Chief Shaeffer said they are also currently are contracted with Wixom and South Lyon, and noted they are escalating their contract by 10% per year because they are adding significantly to Noviís prisoner population.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked when can they expect the contract to expire. The Chief replied the contract renews itself every year.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if it would alleviate the problem if Novi did not renew the contracts. Chief Shaeffer believes it would be a short range solution.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if Council could have the break out figures for the revenue generated by the contracts they hold with other communities.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if they would include the cost of the additional dispatchers, strain on the jail facilities, etc.

Chief Shaeffer replied they determined this revenue pays for the equivalent of three dispatchers and two-thirds of Joe Burchettís salary. The Chief noted Novi also receives a service fee from Lyon Township for Fire response.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if Novi houses Wixomís overflow. Chief Shaeffer replied although Wixom has facilities, Novi houses their long term prisoners.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if Novi houses Wixomís prisoners when their cells are vacant. Chief Shaeffer replied that is correct.

 

Chief Shaeffer also reported another component is that the Sheriff runs a shuttle to Novi for Pontiac which helps the facilitation for the transport of prisoners. The Chief noted it would be burdensome if Novi had to transport their own prisoners to Pontiac.

 

Councilman Clark asked what would the impact be if Novi no longer served South Lyon, Wixom and the courts. Chief Shaeffer reiterated that it would be a short term solution.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the yearly contract comes before Council every year. Chief Shaeffer believes it is a renewing contract.

 

Councilman Mitzel suggested that before they allocate funds to modify the jail, they should also evaluate what their other options. He suggested that could include not renewing the contracts to give Novi time to build up their resources.

 

Councilman Kramer suggested that they should consider apportioning the capital outlays among the three communities.

 

Councilman Clark reminded Council that Novi depends upon using the Sheriffís shuttle to Pontiac daily.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford added these contracts also pay for three dispatchers and a large portion of Mr. Burchettís salary and if they eliminated those contracts, it does not mean they can eliminate three dispatchers and two-thirds of the dispatch manager. Consequently, Mayor ProTem Crawford sees a benefit associated with the contracts.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if it is time to review the contracts. Mr. Kriewall stated part of the danger with terminating those contracts is that Novi ought to be growing more in that direction. He explained there has been discussion even at the County level about setting a few major regional dispatch centers to help hold costs down. Mr. Kriewall believes Novi has made some progress contracting Wixom, South Lyon and Lyon Township. He added they tried unsuccessfully to add Walled Lake, Wolverine Lake and Northville. Mr. Kriewall opposes this because it takes a long time to overcome the political barriers of getting communities to cooperate in something like this.

 

Councilman Mitzel stated based on the benefit analysis and if the other communities are not willing to help with the capital that they need to accommodate them, he believes their first priority is to serve Novi residents. Councilman Mitzel reminded Council that the Treasurerís office proposed the installation of an ATM and if they installed it in the police lobby, that would pay for renovating the lobby and the ADA requirements.

 

Councilman Schmid believes they need to find a better way to put money for such things as the improvements that they need for the police station away instead of finding ways to spend money. Councilman Schmid understands the need for computers, but he would guess that they have spent as much as $6M on computers in the last four years when this money could have paid for the entire renovation of the police station. He reiterated that they need to do a better job in establishing priorities. He reminded Council they just spent $800,000 for a road for the ice arena. He is not saying it is a bad idea, but that money could have gone a long way to renovate the police station. He suggested that perhaps the police department should have waited for their computer system.

 

Chief Shaeffer believes their computer system will become a marketing tool for recruiting other communities to join Noviís communication systems and noted that Novi has exceeded projections in terms of staff in all areas.

 

Chief Shaeffer then explained the domino effect by stating if they renovate as the architect has drawn, they will displace the juvenile holding cell. If they displace the juvenile holding cell, they must move it into the EOC room. If they cut into a piece of that room, they must move the supervisors because according to State law, the juveniles must be under direct view of somebody which in their case is the supervisors. If they move the supervisorís, they will displace the front reception area and they then must build a new reception area. Chief Shaeffer stated they went through the budgetís building program and determined they would spend $680,000 for building alternations. He added they would spend the money they already budgeted for the ADA and maintenance would require $246,000.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they should reconsider the bond issue. Mr. Kriewall stated that would be his recommendation. He explained they have a significant capital expense and if they had bonds for it, they could spread the cost over the people who are moving to Novi over the next ten years. He believes they are better off to take a major capital expense and put it on a GO Bond issue.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford believes the last bond issue was poorly advertised.

 

Councilman Clark believes there were too many bonding proposals on the ballot.

 

Mr. Kriewall suggested that they include a proposal on the November ballot.

 

Councilman Mitzel stated that Mr. Kriewall advocated that proposal in a memo to Council three months ago during a work program and reminded Council that their consensus was not to put it on the ballot this year. Councilman Mitzel still favors that position.

 

Councilwoman Mutch believes they did not promote the bonding proposal adequately and believes they should do a better job at educating the public about what the City is asking for. She believes the public thought they were asking for a more luxurious facility to coddle prisoners when the fact is that it is not a long term residential jail.

 

Councilman Clark suggested that they maximize the use of Channel 13 and prepare a video showing the public what the problems are with the integrity of the building.

 

Chief Shaeffer said they would like to think they did everything they could to promote the proposal during the last election.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if there is any way they can renegotiate the fees with the other communities so they are more representative to the costs to Novi. She also wondered if there may be some hazards in asking other communities to make capital investments in Novi. She is not even certain if that is something they can even request and believes an alternative would be to increase the fees in the contract. Further, she suggested they formulate a Private Campaign Committee to have a professionally run campaign because she believes the days of doing what they have described earlier and being sure of success is behind them.

 

Councilman Kramer does not agree it is a matter of effort and believes the positive response the Chief got was a genuine response. He believes when the voter got to the ballot box they had to face three proposals. He believes they should be more conscious about how many monetary requests they place on the ballot.

 

Mayor McLallen said the issue before them is about the police department funding for the 1997-98 budget year. She explained there are overriding needs within the department that the presented budget does not address and the actual proposed budget is a slightly more than last yearís budget. Further, they know there is a possibility of acquiring more staffing and that money is available through other mechanisms. She stated the capital money is what Council needs to address.

 

Chief Shaeffer had hoped to provide crime numbers to Council, but they discovered some gross errors in their crime reporting. He reminded Council that they currently replacing the originally contracted computer service so they will have control over those numbers.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the Bicycle Patrol is in operation. Chief Shaeffer said they are very close. He explained they have obtained the bicycles and $26,000 worth of overtime through a non-sharing federal grant.

 

Mayor McLallen would like to schedule a special presentation about the Bicycle Patrol operation for their first June meeting. The Mayor asked Mr. Kriewall to obtain information from the Chief about the crime stat problem.

 

 

2. Finance

 

Mr. Gibson introduced his staff. He stated they hired Dean Miller when the computer system was in its infancy and he will retire in August. Mr. Gibson reported Mike Galea will take his place with twenty-years experience. Mr. Gibson concluded by stating Steve Babinchak is the Assistant City Treasurer, Kathy Smith-Roy is the Cityís Controller and Kim Pittl is the Budget Analyst.

 

Mr. Gibson asked Council to recall the old audit presentation that included only the hard numbers. He explained Kathy Smith-Roy prepared CAFR, which is a major effort and added she was also asked to serve on the Stateís Municipal Finance Officers Board.

 

Mr. Gibson noted the numbers on Pages 78 and 79 are not changing much. He reported they are asking for one computer and then referred to Information Technologies. He noted they have replaced the pages because they originally indicated that this department was primarily responsible for GIS. They felt it was unfair because the Department of Public Services is actually spearheading this effort. Mr. Gibson believes their role is to provide as much technical support as they can. They are also asking to increase one of their part time positions to a full time position. He explained this Data Technician will service the hardware of approximately one hundred and seventy computers. He explained there are four main servers scattered throughout the City. He further explained there are computers in each of the four fire stations, there are many in the police department, there will be additional computers added to the police vehicles, and there are some at the D.P.W. garage. Mr. Gibson explained this position will physically maintain the Cityís growing system and relieve Mr. Galea to provide him with more time for planning.

 

 

Councilman Schmid asked if they can provide information about how many jobs they have saved because of the computer system. He would also like to know what efficiencies it provides. He noted how this department has grown since the installation of the computers. Mr. Gibson believes it makes people more efficient and believes without the computers, they would have had to hire more employees. He believes the current staff is functioning more effectively and consequently, they can assume a greater work load.

 

Councilman Schmid argued the staff is growing and now they want to hire more people to service the computers.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if they have considered contracting a service for hardware support. Mr. Galea stated one misconception people have is that computers run by themselves. He explained there are many issues they have to deal with on a support basis and one of his goals is to document those so they have some statistical information and quantitative numbers about the support they have provided. Without this individual, he believes they will bog him down with addressing the mundane issues instead of the planning issues in terms of technology. He would like to make the technology that they have productive. He noted the demand on future city services is different from the past.

 

Councilman Mitzel misunderstood and stated he now realizes this position will serve as network and software support.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if Mr. Galea would give Council a brief introduction.

 

Mr. Galea stated his background has been business. He explained he has worked for several different companies and has had his own consulting business. He began with main frames, mini computers and computer networks in 1987. Todayís environment has become a standard over the past few years and is something they did before anyone else was doing it. He is also on the faculty for Central Michigan University and Schoolcraft College, and he intends to offer training seminars to update computer use in the City. His goal is to increase productivity of the individuals in the City in terms of use. He is currently living in Troy, but plans to move because most of his family lives in this area.

 

Mayor McLallen noted the budgetary request includes $204,000 over last year. Mr. Gibson explained the Personal Services area in last yearís budget included Mr. Millerís salary, a

part time individual and filling the part time position that Mr. Galea has now filled for six months. The proposed budget now includes Mr. Galeaís position for the full amount and the recommendation to increase the part time position to full time.

 

Councilwoman Mutch would like Council to think about how they can connect to the computer system to help them improve their jobs.

 

Mr. Babinchak said although they had not changed too many items in the Treasurerís budget, he believes the increase in Bank Services Cost and Lock Box Fees on Page 89 may need further explanation. He explained the recommended amount is incorrect and should read $35,500; they reduced it when they moved $12,000 to Data Processing. He said there was a concerted effort on the Cityís part to reduce their overall fees and to increase revenue by better utilizing the available funds by insuring they were invested at all times. Mr. Babinchak reported they have accomplished that and there are currently no uninvested funds at this time. However, the result is that they now expose net costs as pure costs and he is now able to observe these costs at all times. On the other hand, what they do not see in this report is that their investment earnings have substantially increased and more than offset these additional costs. He further reported that the $12,000 Data Processing Fee for the Oakland County System that generates tax bills is for the leasing of the computer equipment and the $76,000 Office Equipment Outlay is a result of the addition of the new position that was put in their office to handle their bonds, letters of credit and so forth. He explained the current configuration of their office is not appropriate given the kind of work each employee is doing.

 

Councilman Clark said the cost for consolidating all of the accounts increased nearly $40,000 and asked if they are talking about one savings and checking account. He further asked if they are both located in one institution. Mr. Babinchak replied they are talking about one savings and one checking, and their main banking service is provided through NBD.

 

Councilman Clark asked if they have discussed these charges with NBD. He knows banks do not charge some businesses for every check if all of their business is done with one institution and asked why should it be different for a city. Mr. Babinchak replied they do offer that, but the reality is if they let the bank charge their full fees, they can make more money by investing privately than allowing them to pay interest offsetting balances against their fees. He stated they are not allowed to invest all of the money because they have reserve requirements and so forth. Therefore, the actual return on their investment is much less than they can make in the market.

 

Councilman Clark asked what would be the difference since they consolidated this all with NBD in terms of what they may have made for the same period that generated almost $48,000 in bank charges. Mr. Babinchak replied they generated approximately $15,000 in bank charges and noted the $47,500 should read $35,500. He explained $30,000 is for direct bank fees and the additional $15,000 is for lock box fees. He explained lock boxes are tremendously less than hiring another person to process every tax bill. He reminded Council they were running twenty days behind last year because they did not have the manpower for processing. He reported they mail 15,500 tax bills per summer and winter, and 3,333 water bills per month in addition to the other activity in the Treasurerís Department. He reported that handling that during the peak periods was impossible.

 

Mr. Gibson explained when they prepare a tax bill they code it and it is returned to a bank on a per item basis. The bank then processes it through their lock box system by creating a tape which they forward to Oakland County to update Noviís computer tax files. The bank then deposits the money into Noviís account on the same day.

 

Councilman Mitzel thought they said because they are consolidating they are saving in terms of fees, but he understands that they are now bringing them up as a separate cost line item. Mr. Babinchak replied they are more exposed.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the fees are greater than when they had more accounts. Mr. Babinchak explained their banking services have not changed, but they had as many as thirty accounts for different things. He said many funds that they receive by different sources have to be kept separate from other funds and in the past, they kept separate accounts to accomplish this. He explained they now consolidated everything into one trust and one checking account, but keep it separate on a spread sheet to meet the legal requirements.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if it is more cost effective than the separate accounts. Mr. Babinchak replied it is tremendously more cost effective.

 

Mayor McLallen referred to Page 9 which shows revenue from the investing of temporary idle funds was approximately $650,000 and was $200,000 greater than last year. Mr. Babinchak interjected, they paid approximately $30,000 in fees in past years and they are now only adding another $15,000.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the revenue increased because of better interest rates or because they had more bond money sitting in the accounts. Mr. Babinchak replied it had everything to do with posting the money into the accounts on the day it arrived through the lock box. Further, the money received over the counter is processed faster because they do not bog staff down doing these other things. He added they also recently converted to time saving OCR scannable water bills.

 

Mayor McLallen asked if they diversely invest all the money and what is the level of risk. Mr. Babinchak replied he and Mr. Gibson have looked into good security risks, which they have brought before Council for approval. He explained although they have only one trust and checking account, the idea of having a trust account is that there are sometimes small amounts of money that they cannot invest for various reasons. As a result, in the past they averaged $200,000 that they were not investing at any one time. Now, he can make a separate investment into either commercial paper, a certificate of deposit drawn on a Michigan bank, bankersí acceptances, repurchase agreements or some form of treasury instrument. He further explained as it comes in it is deposited into a liquid interest bearing account instead of a checking account. Consequently, it can be withdrawn as needed.

 

 

BREAK - 9:30 p.m.

 

 

3. Parks & Recreation

 

Dan Davis, Parks & Recreation Director stated their budget represents a $1.9M allocation. He explained it consists of a dedicated park millage that generates just more than $600,000 in annual revenues from user fees, grants, investments and so forth. Mr. Davis reported many projects have been before Council in some form over the past three years and many of them are now coming to completion. He reported they have almost completed Phase I of the Community Sports Park and it will open for use within the next thirty days. Park development activities at Rotary Park will begin tomorrow and construction will begin next week. Other issues that are forthcoming are; the five hundred acres in north Novi, the aquatic facility and the Pope play structure.

 

Mr. Davis reported their budget consists of four divisions within the Parks & Recreation Department. They are; Administrative, Recreational Programs, Senior Programs and Park Maintenance.

 

Mr. Davis stated the Administrative Budget includes his position, the Deputy Director position, three full time clerical positions and an existing part time clerical. He reported they are not anticipating any real changes within those categories. The changes in the Personal Services area reflect the realignment of the Deputy Director position out of the Recreation Coordinator category into the Administrative. It includes a wage change and the hiring of a new coordinator last year. Further, Supplies and Other Services are in line with their past budgets. Capital includes a variety of items and noted the $125,000 line item under Park Development is now showing up as part of the Mid-decade Census monies and is dedicated to Community Sports Park for restroom facilities. Mr. Davis reported the $100,000 for Rotary Park is a pass through. He explained it is a $150,000 project; $75,000 from the State and $75,000 from the Rotary Club. He reported they have expended some funds already and anticipate completion during the next fiscal year. Building Improvements include $10,000 for a work station, and upgrading the sound system and speaker systems. He noted there has been concern about the volumes of people using the building and notification for evacuation emergencies. Finally, they would like to make the games room more functional by adding shelving and making minor improvements so they can introduce child care. The $80,000 under HCD is an item that was previously approved by Council in November 1996, but it will not appear on their books until May. This includes a variety of community development needs like Lakeshore Park, home repair for senior citizen emergencies, senior transportation and the senior management position.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the Lakeshore Park improvements would begin in June or July. Mr. Davis replied they will receive the Countyís notification sometime mid-May that they can start. He anticipates the actual work will begin in the fall after the season ends. He is planning to bring forward a recommendation for architect services for a design of the tennis courts, basketball courts and playground equipment.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if they anticipate constructing safety paths along East Lake and South Lake soon. Mr. Davis replied they are currently out for bid and they are expecting summer construction based on those bids. He added there is one easement area near the bridge on South Lake Drive that was posing a problem, but they are proceeding with the bid process with that as a contingency item. They will have information for Council on how they will proceed shortly based on that information.

 

Mr. Davis moved forward to the Recreation Division and reported it includes two full time recreation coordinator positions. Mr. Davis explained they provide all the administrative support to operate the day-to-day programming. The programs include soccer, softball, T-ball, camps, special events, youth theater and so forth. He added they generate more than $500,000 in revenue from these programs. Mr. Davis noted there are no real changes under Personal Services and they do not anticipate any major changes in their programming. However, he does anticipate a 10-15% growth in their programming numbers from a participatory standpoint. He explained last year they had just over 1,000 participants in the spring soccer program and their current registration is at 1,300. Mr. Davis reported he has no recommendations for Capital Outlay.

 

Mr. Davis stated there is one full time Special Recreation Coordinator that coordinates the activities for the Senior Citizen Division. He added they have additional support from HCD funding for the centerís manager position along with various part time positions that function under this department. He explained this funding would include a dispatcher and five to six drivers for the senior transportation services. He noted this activity has increased significantly because of the trend in the senior population growth. Other activities provided under this division are summarized under Functions and includes exercise classes, day trips, special events, extended trips, golf leagues and so forth. Mr. Davis anticipates all other line items will remain the same.

 

Mr. Davis reported the final division is their Park Maintenance Department. He noted not only do the one supervisor and three maintenance employees currently provide the day-to-day maintenance for the seven hundred acres of parks, but they also support the Recreation Division in terms of set up of athletic areas, field maintenance and so forth. Mr. Davis explained as they expand, they will need to address this situation because it was an area of concern when they completed their Maintenance Analysis last year. Mr. Davis reported they have removed their request for one staff person, but the other requests under Supplies and Other Services & Charges categories are in line with past years. Further, the request for $44,000 under Capital Equipment Needs includes $31,000 for a replacement vehicle. Mr. Davis reported they have six park maintenance vehicles in operation and added they operate in a ten-year cycle rotation. He stated they run them at full operation for seven years and during the last three years they serve as backup. In addition, they have a $10,000 request for a mower to attach to the tractor to more efficiently mow the soccer fields at the Community Sports Park. Mr. Davis reminded Council that Parks & Recreation also assists D.P.W. in their snow removal efforts. Mr. Davis believes their requests are consistent with previous budgets. Finally, Mr. Davis said there was confusion in their line item requests and asked Mr. Gibson to provide further explanation.

 

Mr. Gibson stated they noticed when they put the preliminary numbers together they had included the two new positions in the Parks & Recreation Budget and that basically passes through because the General Fund subsidizes Parks & Recreation. Mr. Gibson explained because they were already half way through the process and the General Fund Budget was already printed, they backed down the Personal Service categories and placed that money temporarily into Contingencies. If Council will note in the requested column there was $63,000 and they removed enough from Personal Services that it increased that number by $68,016. Mr. Gibson referred to Page 123 and noted the transfer from the General Fund for the current year is $182,863. Further, the requested amount is approximately $70,000 more than that to cover the two new positions. He explained he would have backed down the amount coming in from the General Fund by the $68,016 and then reduce the Contingency by $68,016 which effectively would put that $68,000 back into the General Fund. Mr. Gibson added they could then begin to accumulate the money needed for the $400,000 parking lot improvements.

 

Councilman Kramer believes these are requested items and asked if Mr. Gibson is saying that at this point, he is not recommending anything not be funded. Mr. Gibson stated that is correct. However, Mr. Gibson noted the way it currently stands, it shows the amount of money necessary to fund it is available in the Parks & Recreation Contingency line.

 

Councilman Schmid stated the Transfer of General Funds recommendation on Page 121 is for $377,000 from $182,000. Mr. Gibson replied that is correct, but $125,000 of that is for the Community Park from the Mid-census funds. Mr. Gibson explained the amount Mr. Davis actually requested is for $252,371 and if they compare this with what they have for the current year, it is up by approximately $70,000 which is the funding necessary to address the two positions.

 

Mr. Davis added they were looking to give Council additional support documentation for the justification of these positions. Mr. Davis explained they currently have an existing part time clerical position for $8,000 and they are asking to make that a full time position so the net increase would be approximately $24,000 to include benefits and the wage adjustment to account for the differential in hours. Mr. Davis indicated it has been approximately ten years since they have had a staff increase in their clerical support and the dramatic increase in population has put a greater demand at their front counter. Consequently, they consistently need two full time front counter people to address the customer service issues. Mr. Davis stated they directly relate their request for park maintenance to the addition of the seventy-three-acre athletic complex and all the additional programming resulting from that facility. Further, they will complete the improvements for Rotary Park by July and the maintenance for that facility will also increase. They also must consider that the Pope play structure will require additional maintenance. Although they anticipated this and are setting funds aside for it, it is still another facility they must maintain. They also need additional staff to monitor the north Novi five hundred acre park effectively. Further, when the school district property is completed by the end of 1998, they will have maintenance responsibilities for the fifty acre parkís soccer, baseball, picnic and playground areas.

 

Mr. Davis knew they were being short sighted when they passed the 1993 General Obligation bond issue. The two previous failed millages would have provided funding that would have addressed acquisition, development and maintenance. However, voters preferred to buy it and build it, and decided they would worry about the maintenance later. He said now is the time is here to address maintenance and the only mechanism available is through the budget process.

 

Mr. Kriewall noted when they were balancing the budget, they cut these two positions. However, it did not really save any money and in essence the money is still sitting in the Parks & Recreation Budget. He believes Mr. Davis makes a good case and he recommends that Council put these positions back into the budget.

 

Councilman Kramer supports the addition of the two positions and asked if they plan to increase their seasonal part time support. Mr. Davis replied their seasonal staff is budgeted in several different ways. He reported under the Park Division summary they have a line item for seasonal people for $7,000 that is allocated for D.P.W. support within Parks & Recreation. However, there is also $25,000 allocated under full time for general park maintenance duties that they do not attribute to a programming function. Further, there are line items budgeted under their Recreation Division Program for maintenance and preparation for specific programs. Mr. Davis explained these are billed to an expense number that in turn builds upon what they charge for user fees.

 

Councilman Kramer asked if the budget reflects an increase for seasonal temporary part time. Mr. Davis replied when they left the full time position in, he backed it down. His second option would have been that he would then need to increase their seasonal staff to meet their maintenance needs.

 

Councilman Kramer believes there should be additional discussion this year about whether the current Parks & Recreation millage is appropriate with the increased demand for services. Mr. Davis interjected, the current millage generates approximately $668,000.

 

Mayor McLallen stated to take it back to the full millage would require a Headlee override hearing. Mr. Gibson stated it would actually require a vote.

 

Councilman Kramer believes at an appropriate studied time, they should approach the community about whether they would like to increase their support for the recreational programs. He believes the public took the first step when they supported the acquisition of land.

 

Mr. Davis believes taking it back to the half mil would generate approximately $130,000 in new revenue.

 

Councilman Clark asked if Sick Bonus Pay is a bonus similar to perfect attendance. Mr. Davis replied that is correct. Councilman Clark asked why donít they call it that.

 

Councilman Kramer suggested they call it Wellness Pay.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what are Allocated Expenses under Park Maintenance. Mr. Davis replied that line item includes services provided to Parks & Recreation by D.P.W. or the Water Department.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they will eliminate the clerical part time position when they add a full time position. Mr. Davis replied they intend to eliminate the part time position and make it a full time position. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they included the savings of eliminating the part time position. Mr. Davis replied they have reflected that $8,000 reduction in their budget.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if there is technology available to improve their registration process. Mr. Davis reported Marilyn Troshak has been working on that through the GIS system. He added that they must have credit card company support to implement this type of system and there are service fees associated with that. Mr. Davis added because there are many questions and specialty forms that require signatures, they still need one on one contact. He noted if they automate too much, they will lose personal contact with the public and he does not advocate that.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked what is the status of the Teen Center. Mr. Davis replied they are supportive of a Teen Center and they are working closely with Youth Assistance. However, they are still uncertain about where they are at this point. He said they talked about using the Fuerst site, but it is still too premature to speculate about that and it is currently in the committeeís hands.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if Mr. Davis could predict what role Parks & Recreation might play in terms of the Fuerst site. Mr. Davis believes they will eventually take on the responsibility because the department is often a catch all. He added that he believes the Fuerst site may meet some of their demands. However, he is concerned about the financial needs connected to that site.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked how many participating seniors in the senior program are Novi residents. Mr. Davis believes approximately 75% are residents and the rest were former residents forced to move outside the community when they downsized their residence. He noted they charge a 20% nonresident fee differential for all Parks & Recreation programs.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked what is the source of their funds. Mr. Davis there are a variety of state and federal grants. At the federal level they refer to it as the Land and Water Conservation Fund and they have cut it drastically over the last five years. Mr. Davis reported as this gets cut, it also affects state levels. Mr. Davis added the funds are all administered by the Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Davis went on to state that as the name land and water suggests, it is really tied to development issues as they pertain to recreation improvements with water courses and that is the criterion that gets a higher level of consideration. Further, because they tie it to water courses, those funding allocations usually go to state parks, federal national park areas, the Lake Michigan dunes and so forth. Mr. Davis added when the state passed the $800M bond issue for Quality of Life bond improvements, it was set up for a five-year funding period and he believes they set aside $70M per year for local projects. As projects were completed, Mr. Davis reported there was a couple extra years funded, but it is now depleted. Now the only fund available is land and water and he reiterated that it has been cut drastically. Mr. Davis noted Novi does not have the water resources that improve their criteria for point value for that funding. He reminded Council, Novi is currently looking for funding for things like sports complexes. Mr. Davis reported Novi was successful with the Quality of Life bond issue three years ago for Rotary Park with a 50% match.

 

Councilwoman Mutch stated she is thinking about another fund. Mr. Davis replied that may be the Natural Resources Trust Fund and is specifically for land acquisition. Mr. Davis reported every year from 1997 until 1983, they applied for as many as three grants and they have had their fluctuations. He added it is very competitive and political area.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if he feels Novi has enough public park land. Mr. Davis replied they have budgeted money this year to work in conjunction with one of the colleges to analyze the services they are providing from recreation programs, determine if they have adequate facilities and revamp the master plan.

 

Councilman Schmid asked how will the ice arena facility affect the swimming demands. Mr. Davis believes it will have some impact. He noted they are trying to get the aquatic facility issue regenerated and they have looked at Power Park as a possible site. He added another aquatic facility issue is programming.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if building a swimming pool is possible. Mr. Davis believes they will put it before the voters later this year. Mr. Davis added a lot is based upon what the Sports Club will provide, what the City would like to modify within their proposal, and that they do not duplicate each other. Mr. Davis believes they need to analyze what clientele the Sports Club is trying to attract when compared with what the City wants to provide.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if the indoor soccer will impact the City. Mr. Davis replied it will have a positive impact because many of Noviís players are playing in other cities. Mr. Davis explained indoor soccer creates a consistency year round and when the weather permits, they play outdoors. He added they also use it as a training mechanism for travel teams. Mr. Davis noted they are currently working with them on tournaments and programs.

 

Councilman Schmid asked if there is any truth to a YMCA coming into Novi. Mr. Davis replied it came up at Providence board meeting that Kathy Crawford attended, but the City has not formally discussed this.

 

Mayor McLallen stated when she met with the Regional Director of the YMCA, the answer was no. She reported that even if Novi wanted a YMCA, it still requires local funding.

 

Councilwoman Mutch reminded Council that Farmington Hills solicited Novi for funding when they built their YMCA.

 

Councilman Schmid asked how many Parks and Recreation employees are on staff. Mr. Davis replied there are twelve full time and he believes there are one hundred part time employees over the course of the year.

 

Councilman Schmid asked when will the golf course be completed. Mr. Davis replied the feasibility study should come back before Council by June 2, 1997.

 

 

4. Building & Grounds

 

Dan Davis stated Building and Grounds includes the Civic Center complex. He reported they have one Building Maintenance Supervisor who facilitates the operation of the building, and approximately six seasonal people to staff the counter at night and on weekends.

 

Mr. Davis reported they have been in the building approximately ten years and they are beginning to see some wear on the building. Over the last few years, Mr. Davis stated they have addressed the maintenance numbers within a budget request. Mr. Davis reiterated that the position funnels through Parks and Recreation, and handles all of the community center rental applications, the heating and cooling system, the lighting, and the outside maintenance of the facility. He noted they also receive some support from D.P.W. Mr. Davis stated they strive to provide a high class facility and added there has been an increase in the community service use of the building over the last year. He also reported they maintain the Township Hall in this budget.

 

Mr. Davis stated Other Services has increased because of maintenance needs. He then reported they are elevating the Assistant Building Supervisor position to a higher pay scale within their existing Personal Services line item for staffing. Mr. Davis reported they are currently paying them $7.00 per hour and want to increase it to $10.00 per hour to attract a more mature and responsible person to handle the volumes of people and emergencies. They also increased the Temporary Salary Account to $32,000 since they began Sunday operations. Mr. Davis explained their operation costs have increased by $10,000 since a church group began renting the Civic Center every Sunday.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how long can any one group rent the facility. Mr. Davis replied the City has a Continued Reserve Policy up to one year. He added they restrict nonresidents by enforcing a ninety-day out policy. He explained they cannot reserve spots until they are within the ninety-day period.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the Capital Outlay on Page 91 is accurate. He stated last yearís actual is $5,000 and this yearís proposed is $34,000. He noted they also show a carry over of $24,000 on Page 13, but it does not appear in last yearís budget. Mr. Davis explained there are two issues concerning carry overs in this budget. He stated one is the Fuerst Estate and explained there is $25,000 in this fiscal year for stabilization. He explained until the Committee makes a recommendation, that amount will carry over. The $50,000 line item in the amended budget is for cement replacements and was based on D.P.S. projections. He explained City staff internally began the repair of the cement problems in front of the Ten Mile entry and in the loading dock area, and they then ran it through the Building Maintenance account to save that money. Mr. Davis recommended that they carry the money over and create a fund for the replacement of the failing parking lot area.

 

Councilman Mitzel stated the proposal includes a request for almost $10,000 for partitions and a work station, and that the $24,500 is for the Fuerst property. He asked if they are putting the $50,000 for the parking lot back into the Year End Contingencies and spreading it out. Mr. Gibson said that was correct.

 

Councilman Mitzel noted they have discussed having a Revolving Capital Fund for many years. Councilman Mitzel believes they should implement it in a way that departments will pay into a fund annually so that there will be enough money to replace equipment at the end of its life cycle.

 

Councilman Kramer suggested that they use money not spent in fund balances as a source for a capital fund.

 

Councilman Mitzel asked if the $68,000 Parks & Recreation is proposing for personnel would be put in Buildings & Grounds or Contingency. Mr. Gibson replied that would be brought back from Parks & Recreation and put in the General Fund Contingency.

 

Mayor ProTem Crawford is disturbed about the quality of the painting within the building and asked if they need to hire an outside contractor to paint the building. Mr. Davis they are considering contracting it out because of past experience.

 

Councilman Schmid suggested contracting seniors.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if the Building Supervisor has certain responsibilities for maintaining the cleanliness of the parking lot. Mr. Davis replied it is something they monitor and use whatever resources they have to keep it clean. He added they usually try to schedule D.P.W. to sweep the lot.

 

Councilwoman Mutch asked if the maintenance for the Town Hall is in this budget. Mr. Davis reiterated they include the maintenance in this budget. Councilwoman Mutch stated the Historical Commission budget has $10,000 for building maintenance and Mr. Klaver has provided a monthly statement of things paid out of this budget. Mr. Davis stated he will discuss this matter with Mr. Klaver.

 

Councilwoman Mutch informed Council that an outside service maintains the lawn for the Town Hall. In addition, she noted the Commissionís budget pays for the spraying, the alarm system, utilities and the painting of the building. Further, they pay any fee received for rental of the facility to Parks & Recreation and post it to the Community Center account.

 

 

ADJOURNMENT

 

There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:20 P.M.

 

 

 

 

Mayor City Clerk

 

 

Transcribed by Barbara Holmes

 

Date Approved: May 5, 1997