REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
THURSDAY, APRIL 15, 1999 AT 7:30 PM
ACTIVITIES ROOM-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE
Mayor ProTem Crawford called the meeting to order at 7:40 p.m.
ROLL CALL: Mayor McLallen (absent/excused), Mayor ProTem Crawford, Council Members DeRoche (absent/excused), Kramer, Lorenzo, Mutch (absent/excused), Schmid
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-99-04-092: Moved by Kramer, Seconded by Lorenzo, CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: For Approval of Agenda
Vote on 99-04-092: Yeas: Crawford, Kramer, Lorenzo, Schmid
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
PURPOSE OF REGULAR MEETING
1. 1999-2000 Budget Study Session
Mr. Lou Martin commented the Public Information department had a very productive year. The department is excited about the website project because this would be a full year’s work with the development and any problem solving strategies that might be needed.
Mr. Martin commented there are a few changes in the budget. He said under capital outlay the electronic information sign in front of the Civic Center is currently in the CIP process. The department is asking for video dubbing equipment, a video camera replacement and a laptop computer. He said the laptop would run the video playback system in the audio/visual room.
Mr. Martin commented under webpage maintenance, the department is requesting $5,000 for the year, which includes training and service. He said the big concern with the web page development is training. The plan is to have one person from each department trained to run the software program. He explained once that person is trained, they would be able to perform the updates for their department.
Mr. Martin mentioned the next event that would require any funding would be the Historical Commission picnic and "pioneer" days. He said there is a brochure that was produced for the Historical Commission that was used last year and it would be used again along with the display from the 30th anniversary celebration. Mr. Klaver said the Historical Commission would cover all the other costs associated with the event.
Mr. Martin said the cable production item is the biggest change for public information. He said the department is asking for one additional full time person and this person would be responsible for direct daily operations with the video work. Mr. Martin continued that this person would do the editing and would be responsible for logging and editing the tapes along with the transferring all the playback tapes. It would also involve labeling, indexing and storing of the master tapes to make the process much more efficient.
He said the new person would be responsible for transferring the tapes from one location to another. When a quality tape has been produced, the city wants to share it with other communities and the transportation of the tape takes a lot of time.
Under video duplication the department has requested video dubbing equipment. Mr. Martin said the department receives a lot of requests from persons interested in copies of the tapes. Member Kramer asked where this item is located? Mr. Martin commented under cable production/other services and charges. Mr. Kriewall explained the reason this issue is under that item is because the city is going to set up a contractual position with SWOCC. The majority of the activity takes place at SWOCC and the person would work for SWOCC but be contracted with Novi.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said this person would not be a city employee? Mr. Kriewall said that is correct. Mayor ProTem Crawford said this person would dedicate their time to Novi? Mr. Kriewall said it is going to be a contract service with SWOCC to provide cable relief so the Public Information department can concentrate on other duties.
Member Lorenzo asked if the city charges for the coping of tapes? Mr. Martin said there is a charge. The City uses Video Duplication Service out of Troy and they charge the city roughly $3.00 per tape plus time for the person to reproduce the tape and consolidate. He said the City reproduces about 40 tapes at one time with EDS.
Mr. Martin mentioned he is seeking a five tape coping system because the VCR’s could be programmed to run off of Channel 13 and copy tapes overnight.
Member Schmid said by providing this duplication service, the Public Information department is creating a new department. Mr. Martin commented it could be done off site. He said VDS is great to work with but the problem is the tape has to be delivered to their firm and picked up upon completion. If Public Information had the equipment in house, the department could respond to requests more efficiently.
Mr. Martin said the department would like to provide various subject tapes to the Chamber and Novi Library to rent out to interested parties. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if SWOCC has the capabilities to provide this process? Mr. Martin answered they can do two tapes at a time. Mr. Martin restated the tapes have to be delivered and SWOCC has to have personnel available. Mr. Martin said the time involved is an enormous factor.
Member Schmid asked who requests these tapes? Mr. Martin explained requests have come from various sources. Member Schmid asked what is the cost of the tapes? Mr. Martin said the department charges on the average $5.00 per tape.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked Member Kramer as a member of the Communication Committee, if he had any comments?
Member Kramer commented on the electronic information sign in front of the Civic Center. He explained this was approved by Council a few years ago but not executed. Member Kramer said a continuous decision involved is how does information get out to the community efficiently and at a reasonable cost? Other avenues are in progress but the Communication Committee thought it appropriate to support the sign in the manner in which it was studied.
Member Kramer commented the Communications Committee supports the on going maintenance for training of persons to be able to update the website. A small amount of funds would be needed to expand the web. Member Kramer commented experience would bring requests for expansion and some funding will need to be available.
Mr. Martin mentioned under the printing and publishing item, the department has included funds for a newsletter. He realizes this item needs discussion each year. The line item is $7,000 and the amount for the newsletter is $10,000. Mayor ProTem Crawford said how often is this to be done? Mr. Martin answered one time a year around June/July. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if this could be combined with the Parks and Recreation Department? Mr. Martin answered yes. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if it still costs the same? Mr. Kriewall commented it is determined by weight.
Member Schmid asked about cable production of $57,000. He wanted clarification as to what this includes? Mr. Martin commented it includes one full-time video production person. Member Schmid asked if this position is in the budget or SWOCC? Mr. Gibson said there is $30,000 in this budget to pay SWOCC. Member Schmid asked Mr. Kriewall why this avenue is being pursued? Mr. Kriewall said because most of the person’s time would be spent in the studio or working out of the location. There is not a union category and this seems to be a better arrangement.
Member Schmid asked if SWOCC is supposed to provide some assistance? Mr. Kriewall commented they only have two people for the entire operation. Member Schmid said that is part of the problem. Mr. Kriewall said they only have two people that they share with three cities. Member Schmid asked if this is going to change with the new contract? Mr. Kriewall said they will still be there but it is not enough. The city could not get enough production time out of the two people.
Member Schmid asked how much money is the city going to spend for an uncertain number of people? Is it worth the dollars per person? Mr. Martin said a lot of his time is spent in the studio overseeing the editing. SWOCC’s position is they want a city employee present so the editing is what is desired and the program representative of what Novi wants The problem is they want him to physically be present through the entire editing process.
Member Schmid asked how many people watch Channel 13? Mayor ProTem Crawford said those statistics have been presented to Council. Mr. Martin said the department has received positive calls and letters from viewers. Member Schmid commented does the city want to get into a position where it is subsidizing other businesses? Mr. Martin commented a good structured video department is somebody directing what programs the city wants, making the appropriate contacts and someone who does the taping and editing. It is a good structure and he does not see any growth beyond this process. Mr. Kriewall commented the city wants to use Mr. Martin and his staff more productively.
Member Schmid commented the Communication Committee probably thought cable was a good idea. He said now the city is talking website, which probably reaches more people. He continued to say there might be a sign, cable and website. How much communication is the city going to go through? Member Schmid commented now the city wants a newsletter for $17,000. He does not doubt help is needed from SWOCC. But to start advertising for the Chamber or other segments is an error. He again asked how much money is the city willing to spend for the viewers? He said his perception is very few people watch cable.
Member Kramer asked if the money would be better spent on the person in-house and doing more than cable related activities? Member Schmid again restated how much and at what cost to the City? Mr. Martin said cable and the website have the opportunity to reach a mass market. He believes these are the right avenues to pursue, but he understands the debate with the city sign and newsletter.
Member Schmid asked who really cares about watching cable? Mr. Martin said if someone asked when the City is provided a free government access channel why is the City not on cable? Member Schmid mentioned there are programs that are currently on but he restated how far should the City go and at what cost? Member Schmid asked if the City would do better if the money were put into a capital fund?
Member Kramer mentioned as an alternative the additional person could be on site as a resource allocation for cable. He mentioned Mr. Martin has spent many hours on cable. The department is asked to do a number of programs. He said the person could be put in the Public Information department and be responsible for more than video operations. Mr. Martin said the additional person would be working at SWOCC and in the city building. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if it would be more costly to have an in house person? Member Kramer suggested a possible study of the situation.
Member Schmid asked if one person could be kept busy working on the video operations? Mr. Martin answered absolutely. Member Schmid commented someone has to be added because of all the projects. Mr. Kriewall stated there are no plans to go beyond this position and stated Mr. Martin needs help and it is not practical for Mr. Martin to be transporting tapes for editing.
Member Lorenzo asked if interns or co-ops could be used for the process? Mr. Kriewall stated it is impossible to get any consistency.
Member Schmid commented he is opposed to the newsletter. He believes the homeowner will not look at the newsletter. Mr. Kriewall mentioned some committees do informational advertising more times a year. Member Schmid said if the city advertises three or four times within a short period of time most people do not read them.
Member Lorenzo asked the location of the item? Mr. Gibson stated it is under communications equipment. He explained $38,000 is for the sign, $4,500 for the dubbing equipment and $4,500 for video camera equipment.
Member Schmid commented the city is large and how many people drive down Ten Mile? He believes a relatively small number use Ten Mile. He could not see the cost justification for the sign. He commented a new sign would have to be bought five or ten years from now or a tremendous update will have to be done. He believes this type of technology has been passed and he would not support spending $30,000 for a sign outside the Civic Center. He commented on the sign ordinance, which he does not think this sign would fit within this ordinance. Member Schmid restated his point that he does not agree with the sign and would not support.
Member Lorenzo said she is not convinced at this point in time. She generally supports cable programming, but there are many priorities needed throughout the city. Member Lorenzo commented if and when other groups within the community want to review the cable process, then maybe they should become involved to get money back so the possibility exists to pay other people to do the video process. Member Lorenzo commented she could not come to a conclusion until the budget study is complete.
Member Kramer said city government’s biggest obligation is communication and it is important to get current information out to the community. Member Kramer supports the sign for the Civic Center. He said the city does need a means to get current information out to the community. Member Schmid mentioned not to forget about the sign ordinance. Member Kramer said the sign is for a public service. Mr. Kriewall said the sign would eliminate other sources of communication. The different medias would reach various groups. Member Schmid clarified his position again.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented his least favorite option is the newsletter. He does not know how effective it would be for the cost especially for a one time publication. The website would be providing a means of communication and maybe individually these do not reach a large group but each one probably reaches a different market. Mayor ProTem Crawford stated overall the city would have a better communication system. He said he is in support of the sign because he believes it will provide instant notification and the front of the Civic Center is the best location for the sign. Mayor ProTem Crawford stated he believes the sign does serve a function, and he is not concerned how it fits with the ordinance but the city needs to be aware and obey. He restated it will provide public service and the sign will work within the limitations of the ordinance.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said he is convinced an additional person is needed if the city is to continue with the video programming. He mentioned the original proposal of supplementing a SWOCC position that works strictly for Novi is the best and most cost effective solution. He asked if SWOCC would provide the benefits? Mr. Kriewall said SWOCC would be responsible.
Member Schmid wanted clarification on the salary responsibility. Mr. Kriewall explained SWOCC would be paid $30,000. Mayor ProTem Crawford said this person would be a SWOCC employee and the city is not responsible for hiring or firing? Mr. Kriewall said that is correct. Member Schmid again asked if $30,000 covers everything? Mr. Kriewall said yes.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE
Mr. Chris Pargoff made an invitation to Council to attend an Arbor Day celebration next Monday, April 19,1999 at 7:00 p.m.
Mr. Tony Nowicki said there is a Rouge Rescue Meeting scheduled for June 5, 1999 at 7:00 p.m. at the Water Department office located at the Civic Center.
Mr. Tony Nowicki introduced Mr. David Maurice to Council. Mr. Nowicki continued to explain Council was given budget information and attached to this was three booklets concerning GIS. Mr. Nowicki commented Mr. Maurice put these together and these can be addressed after Mr. Pargoff. He explained Mr. Maurice does not have a specific line item budget but he can answer questions on the GIS along with other issues.
Mr. Pargoff said the department is asking for one forestry worker and the goal for this person would be to help improve roadside appearance through mowing and tree care programs. Mr. Pargoff commented it is to be a full time position so this person can be utilized for snowplowing coverage during the winter months. This person would be DPW personnel and also must be pesticide certified and have a commercial operator’s license.
Mr. Pargoff mentioned additional funding is being requested for an aerial lift and chipper truck. It would be a situation where two DPW workers would be involved to insure aging forests are taken care of in a timely manner. Mr. Pargoff mentioned the DPW workers are good workers but not necessarily interested in becoming involved in the forest program. He explained the person hired would have this assigned and would be aware that is their responsibility before taking the position.
Mr. Pargoff said the aerial lift is needed to finish work in Meadowbrook Glens, Orchard Ridge, Dunbarton Pines and Cedar Springs subdivisions.
Mr. Pargoff said the department is also asking for a tractor and mower. He commented the existing tractor is over 20 years old.
Mr. Pargoff mentioned the portable computer that was requested has been slotted into a different area but it is critical to the maintenance of the city’s tree inventory.
Mr. Pargoff stated during 1998-99 year, the department achieved the fifth Growth Award and the eighth Tree City USA Award. He explained the department did tree trimming work in Simmons Orchard, Roma Ridge, Briarwood, Cedar Springs #1 and Dunbarton Pines in 1998, and in 1999, tree trimming was done in Greenwood Oaks, Whispering Meadows, Orchard Ridge, Chase Farms #1 and #2, Cedar Springs, Timber Ridge and Nottingham Woods.
Mr. Pargoff commented the department is continuing the tree planting program. He said trees are in and the department will be working in Chase Farms, Mystic Forest, Wintergreen Park and Royal Crown. The Twelve Mile planting would be completed this year and finalizes this beautification area.
Member Kramer said he supports the need for equipment and the manpower. The department has had good intentions with the forestry and the department tries to do things, but comes up short because of the lack of manpower. Member Kramer commented Mr. Pargoff is creating a good image for the city with his forestry efforts.
Member Lorenzo asked how much money is in the tree fund? Mr. Pargoff commented most of the tree fund money is allocated. The department is working with Parks and Recreation on some usage. He gave a copy of the breakdown of the fund to Member Lorenzo. Mr. Pargoff commented a large portion of the money is provided through the site plan process by Singh Development for a donation planting along Twelve Mile between Meadowbrook and Novi Roads. Mr. Pargoff mentioned Bradford of Novi is another area where trees were specified. He said there is some retainage money that is still owned to the Davey Company Tree for the 1998 tree plantings and the 1999 Twelve Mile planting approved at the last Council session. These are the areas that have been preprogrammed for the trees to be planted.
Mr. Pargoff again mentioned the department is working with Parks and Recreation. The city is getting 15 to 20 trees donated by Taylor Tree Nursery located at Taft Road between Eleven Mile and Grand River. He said the nursery is looking to develop the parcel and wanted the trees to be moved. The department is working with Parks and Recreation to possibly use some of their money to move the trees to the Sports Park.
Member Schmid commented on the $2,000 for an engineering consultant. What is the money for? Mr. Pargoff said they used a consultant this year on a situation on tree ownership. The consultants did some survey work to make the determination if it was a city tree or privately owned. Member Schmid asked when would the department normally use this type of service? Mr. Pargoff said it involves engineering and woodlands consultant.
Member Schmid said tree maintenance is $30,000. Mr. Pargoff explained that is for the tree trimming program. He commented if the department had enough staff this would be greatly reduced. Member Schmid asked by adding one would this affect the number? Mr. Pargoff said it would bring the amount down. The key with this issue is stump removal. He said the department does not have any equipment for stump removal so a portion of this money when be needed to remove the stump after the tree is cut down.
Member Schmid mentioned the $133,000 for equipment. Mr. Pargoff restated this is for the aerial lift and a tractor and the lift has a chipper box for the wood chips. Member Kramer wanted clarification that the truck has a box for the wood chips. Mr. Pargoff said that is correct. Member Lorenzo asked if the chips would be used? Mr. Pargoff answered the chips are used by the park staff to do wood chip paths. He mentioned the Rotary Park, Chase Farms area and also they are to be used in the sports parks.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if other departments could use the aerial lift? Mr. Pargoff said that is a possibility.
Member Schmid asked what does it take to get the Tree City USA award? Mr. Pargoff said it takes a staff forester and $2 or $3 per capita expenditure and there has to be a program and a situation. He said the Council was given a document last April that Mr. Davis had put together a program as a guideline.
Mayor ProTem Crawford wanted some clarification on the portable computer. Mr. Pargoff said the last inventory was done in 1987. He stated this is also the last inventory entered in the database. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented this has not been updated in 12 years? Mr. Pargoff said the problem has been that there is an updated program on budget but it never got entered into the system. There has been several times where the budgeted item and a consultant have come in and taken what is available on the database and integrated it with the inventory program.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how is the information being updated? Mr. Pargoff mentioned the department has the updated hard copy. Mayor ProTem Crawford said the data has been inputted into the computer? Mr. Pargoff said that is correct. The old program was hard to use and inefficient. He said there has been the funding to update but not the staff time to get it accomplished.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if there is a balance in the fund of $115,000? Mr. Pargoff said that is correct. Mayor ProTem Crawford wanted an explanation of the $31,000. Mr. Pargoff said this money was donated with the stipulation that Twelve Mile Road be completed. Mayor ProTem Crawford said that brings the balance to $84,000. Mr. Pargoff said it is for plantings. This money is what is still owed to Davey from the 1998 tree planting program. He said Council approved Twelve Mile. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented this came out of the tree fund? Mr. Pargoff answered yes.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said this leaves a balance of $10,000 in the tree fund. Mr. Pargoff answered yes. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if there are any anticipated donations? Mr. Pargoff said the gallery on Twelve Mile is looking to fund the planting of Twelve Mile from Novi Road to the railroad tracks. The company would want the city to do the physical planting. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they are donating because they are taking out trees? Mr. Pargoff said that was correct. He does not know if it would be classified as a donation or woodlands fee. Member Lorenzo commented it would be the price of the tree. She stated instead of a natural tree they are donating with the intention of replanting a particular area. Mr. Nowicki commented they normally plant on site but their site can not accommodate so they have identified Twelve Mile Road for the planting. Member Schmid said this is a great idea. Mr. Pargoff said the price of $207,000 is the fee in this area.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what kind of program does it take to get trees to grow on some streets? Mr. Pargoff said it is being worked on and they will continue to address the situation. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented a dead tree, missing tree or a tree with branches removed looks worse than no tree at all. Mr. Pargoff said they are working with developers to upgrade areas. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked about Novi Road between Thirteen and Fourteen Mile? Mr. Pargoff said there has not been the funding to pursue. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented how did the trees get there in the first place? Mr. Pargoff explained they were a part of the $10,000 funding. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the contractor guaranteed them? What about the trees on Eleven Mile? Mr. Pargoff explained Davey has gone out and done a replanting. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if they do not grow, would they plant again? Mr. Pargoff stated this is the second replanting.
Member Schmid asked Mr. Pargoff how many trees he has planted? Mr. Pargoff said approximately 15,000 trees.
GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEM
Mr. Nowicki said a number of years ago Council authorized the GIS program. The program started off rather rapidly then leveled because employee changes were a factor. He said Mr. David Maurice has been with the city for one year. Mr. Nowicki commented Mr. Maurice has made tremendous progress with the GIS system.
Mr. Nowicki commented everything on the map could be translated to data. He said every map has a chart and has specific data for each of the points. Mr. Nowicki asked Mr. Maurice to explain what has been done and some of the applications that are used and how other departments would be able to use this data.
Mr. Maurice explained it is an information system that gives the capability to store, retrieve and analyze and display spatial data. He explained spatial data is data that has any location component.
Mr. Maurice commented that when he came to the city, Wayne State students had done a terrific work with inputting the information into the system. He continued to say the areas lacking were the screen interfaces on the system for staff to view and no maps were produced.
Mr. Maurice said his major task was to create some products that people could use. He wanted people to know that a GIS not only produces maps but also gives the capability to analyze data. His goal is to make departments productive with the use of the program.
Mr. Maurice said as an example, he was able to create a data table for Mr. Craig Smith that listed all the traffic signs on major and minor streets along with the condition of the signs and visibility. This enables Mr. Smith to direct his traffic sign person to make sure the condition and location of the sign is sufficient.
Mr. Maurice continued by saying there is a public hearing notification program that allows staff to select various functions for a more efficient process. He explained this how the GIS is helping various departments with individual tasks.
Mr. Maurice said various maps have been produced with digital photographs to give the reader an aerial view of the site. He explained the As-Built Project is where the drawings can be found in the digital format as it was actually built as opposed to how a construction project was projected to be built on the blue prints. This information would be available for staff to view to see how it would look over the parcel base that is obtained from the county and a digital area photo on screen to view information together.
Mr. Maurice said there needs to be an additional tornado siren put into the city. The GIS is going to be used to determine the best location along with the county to place the tornado siren. Mr. Nowicki said they looked at the tornado siren locations with a GPS unit and marked down the coordinates and entered them into the GIS system and were able to produce the map. He said significant areas from the county map showed sirens needed to be relocated. Mr. Maurice said this information was relayed to the county.
Mr. Nowicki said they tried to pick up surrounding communities to see what the coverage was within Novi. He commented Council could see where there are some shortages from viewing the map. In the budget there is $20,000 for an additional siren plus some money for an Oakland County consultant to analyze the city coverage. The city coverage is based on information provided and some adjustments with the siren locations needs to be done to get better coverage for the community. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the goal was to have total coverage? Mr. Nowicki answered yes.
Mr. Nowicki said it is a very good start with the program that is in place. He again mentioned that some adjustments need to be made. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what the circle represents? Mr. Maurice said that is what the county said could be heard on a clear day. This is the recommended radius that a tornado siren company says someone can hear the siren. Member Schmid said the southwest and northeast and middle part of the city is lacking.
Mr. Maurice said the community might be interested in having some of the various maps, which can be provided because they are electronically generated. Member Lorenzo asked if they could be made on a larger scale? Mr. Maurice answered yes. Mr. Nowicki invited Council to come to the computer room and get a tour while Mr. Maurice is there to get a better idea of the process.
Member Kramer asked how the information came together to get the data from the well study? Mr. Nowicki said Wayne State students inputted the data. The students went to the Oakland County Health Department, Michigan Department of Public Health, JCK and other consultants and compiled the information and forwarded it to the county.
Mr. Maurice mentioned the kiosk was received about two weeks ago and he ordered the PC with a case, which he received about a week and a half-ago. He met with administration that would be configuring the PC. He said he is in the process of talking to the City of Detroit to get the case to put the PC on the floor. Member Kramer asked if the city is getting an extra one? Mr. Nowicki said the one they just ordered is paid 90% by the Rouge River fund through the Wayne County Grant. Council would authorize an acquisition for a complete kiosk out of the General Fund. He said they are not recommending that at this point. Member Kramer asked when this project would be available in the lobby? Mr. Nowicki said within a few weeks. Mr. Maurice commented he had some things to add. Mr. Nowicki mentioned that Mr. Maurice has been trained to use the editor for the software package so the city does not have to go back to the consultant to do anything anymore. He said the process is in Mr. Maurice hands. Member Kramer asked what the database is on? Mr. Maurice said the base is on a hard disc in the computer. Mr. Nowicki said the intent is being able to connect into the network. Member Kramer said it would not be connected initially? Mr. Nowicki said that is correct. Mr. Maurice said an individual would be able to click on the issue and it would come up on the screen.
Member Schmid asked what Mr. Maurice is responsible for? Mr. Maurice answered mainly the GIS system along with other areas. Mr. Nowicki said Mr. Maurice is the liaison for over $3 million in grants. Mr. Kriewall mentioned the program is very advanced and ahead of most communities with the GIS.
Mr. Nowicki said all the layering and configurations have been set up by Mr. Maurice. The City of Novi is the leader in this area. Mr. Maurice said it is not only the maps but it includes useful information. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked how often would it be updated? Mr. Maurice said this would be a continuous whenever there is new information or there needs to be a change. Mr. Nowicki commented through the kiosk and the system that would be on the counter, the people could see and be able to print and buy.
Mr. Nowicki commented a staff member is being trained by Mr. Maurice in the use of the GIS to specifically assist people. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the maps could be blown up to focus on a specific area? Mr. Nowicki and Mr. Maurice said yes. Mr. Maurice said a person could zero in on a parcel and lay the aerial photos underneath and be able to see their house right on the parcel. Mr. Nowicki said this also includes the sewer and water system, woodlands and wetlands. Member Lorenzo asked about storm drain and basin? Mr. Maurice said the storm drain is under RPO.
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS
Mr. Craig Smith started by commenting he has had many requests for signage and is trying to get the issue under control that is why there is an increase in the budget. The other item that has been increased significantly is household hazardous waste day. Mr. Smith explained the program has been expanded and that is why the budget numbers go from $45,000 to $60,000. There was one day last year for this purpose but the department is expanding it to at least four days with the possibility of adding more. Member Kramer asked where this is going to take place? Mr. Smith answered at the recycling center.
Mr. Smith talked about some accomplishments and goals. He mentioned last year was a significant year and the department added two new foremen to the DPW. He said one is responsible for roads and the other for drains. The staff consists of sixteen workers with the larger staff being under the roads because they do everything but the drains.
Mr. Smith said the DPW is the labor foundation of the city so anything that happens comes through the department.
Mr. Smith commented on the winter snowfall. He said last summer all of the licensed CDL holders were sent to training school. They attended a training track in Marshall, Michigan where the DPW transported a snowplow down and were able to practice on a training track by simulating slippery conditions. Member Kramer said they were not teaching plowing? Mr. Smith said they are teaching how to recover in various conditions. He also mentioned they increased the fleet by adding one snowplow.
Mr. Smith said some accomplishments include the continuing pavement improvements. He said they are 75% done in Meadowbrook Glens Subdivision and hope to complete the subdivision this year.
He said they have completely resurfaced Orchard Ridge, Connemara Hills and half way done with Dunbarton Pines. Member Lorenzo commented these were asphalt? Mr. Smith commented the roads are asphalt.
Mr. Smith said all the pavement markings have been remeasured. He said every strip, crosswalk, stop walk and arrow was physically measured and each curve mile was remeasured. He explained each side of the street has to be measured to get the actual miles around the curve because it not really easy to do on the computer.
Mr. Smith commented on safety training. He said all the employees attended Confined Space and Excavation Safety training. He mentioned the DPW workers need to be knowledgeable on what is a confined space and excavation safety is important because there have been some accidents and this is a concern.
Mr. Smith said on the increase for roadside maintenance. He said the roads are filthy with debris. Mr. Smith mentioned Ordinance Officer Cindy Uglow organized the WHAM program and the DPW assists her. He explained WHAM is an Oakland County Alternative work program for misdemeanor offenders. He mentioned a crew comes to the city and the DPW provides a truck, a DPW employee, poker sticks, gloves and garbage bags and they pick up the debris. Mr. Smith said they have done the clean up for two weekends so far this year. He tries to hit the highly visible areas first then the crew would move to other areas. Mr. Smith said other communities have heard of the program and they want their services also after hearing of the success in Novi. Member Kramer asked if homeowners have been encouraged to do the major roads by their subdivision? He said the homeowners can collect the debris in a pile then the DPW could make the collection. Mr. Smith said that is a good idea. Mr. Nowicki commented he would be meeting with them through the homeowners group to address the issue.
Mr. Smith commented on the Adopt a Road program. He has worked with Oakland County and M-DOT to encourage the program. Mr. Smith mentioned he is more successful with Oakland County than M-DOT. He would like to start an adopt a road program and work with the neighborhood associations. Member Kramer said some signage could also be done.
Mr. Smith mentioned some of the goals of the DPW are to continue the neighborhood pavement improvement programs. He said that next year the department is to target Meadowbrook Glens to complete. He said some major roads have been targeted. He said they are Taft Road and Beck Road between Nine and Ten Mile.
Mr. Smith commented the path in front of the Civic Center and the bike path down Taft Road needs some attention. He also mentioned there are odd sidewalks throughout the city also to be included.
Mr. Smith mentioned summer crews would be formed for road maintenance. He commented one would be for cracks in major roads and one concrete paving.
Mr. Smith said 75 street lamps were installed last year. It took some time to get them installed but he would like to install an additional 75 next year. Member Lorenzo said she appreciates the improvements.
Member Lorenzo asked how often are the streets swept? Mr. Smith said it was increased to five times last year. He commented they are done in May, June, July, August and September. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if an intersection like Grand River and Novi Road is done even though they are not city roads? Mr. Smith said he does do the roads. He is trying to get a deal with Oakland County to get reimbursed. He was about to receive the money when Oakland County discovered that they have the same contractor as Novi. Mr. Smith said the county wanted no conflict of interest. He just found out this information so he would try to negotiate.
Member Schmid commented the issue of streetlights used to be complicated. He asked if the city has changed their position on streetlights? Mr. Kriewall said only the entrances of the subdivision road have a streetlight. Member Schmid asked the cost of a streetlight? Mr. Smith said the cost ranges from $500 to $1,500 each. Member Schmid commented plus the electricity? Mr. Smith said that is correct because this amount is only for the installation.
Member Schmid asked if the DPW was responsible for maintenance of the grass? Mr. Smith said yes. Member Schmid wanted clarification on the type of program that is set up for this situation. Mr. Smith explained there are several different programs. He mentioned one of the programs is roadside mowing done by the DPW employees or summer help. There is another program for the storm detention basin maintenance. He explained a contractor is hired for this purpose because it includes a larger area and they have the equipment to handle the size. Mr. Smith also commented the DPW workers do the ordinance mowing. He said this is decreasing because of the fee increases but the arguments from the residents are increasing. Member Schmid asked about Twelve Mile median? Mr. Nowicki said that is contractual. Member Schmid commented some of it is DPW and the rest is contractual? Mr. Smith answered that is correct. Member Schmid mentioned the mowing of the medians and other areas was an issue several years ago that in general, the city needed to do a better job.
Mr. Nowicki mentioned the number of cuts per year has increased and Mr. Pargoff is doing the supervision. Mr. Smith said the DPW hired a new contractor last year and the city has received many compliments. Mr. Kriewall commented the contractor is doing a better job. Mr. Smith said the contract has been renewed and the cost is less than the previous contractor. Mr. Kriewall mentioned the exit at I96 and Novi Road is cut under permit and has improved and looked good all last summer.
Member Schmid asked aboutthe sign machine purchased by the DPW. Mr. Smith said the sign machine has not been purchased. Member Schmid wanted clarification on why it has not been purchased? Mr. Smith mentioned a bid was sent out but they came back really high so he could not pay that money. Mr. Smith said the sign machine needs to come back to Council and be re-bid. The specifications have been tightened for an exact computer model so he knows what it is going to cost.
Member Schmid commented on the $6 million plus in the budget along with allocated costs. Mr. Les Gibson explained this budget captures the salary and the benefits for the entire crew that works the street system.
Member Kramer commented that on the residential paving improvements, Country Place was listed. He said it is a condominium and he thought the association took care of their roads? Mr. Smith said they are city streets. Mr. Pargoff stated the city receives gas tax money to support the maintenance.
Member Kramer commented on the street lighting. Does the electricity cost for that light get distributed to the homeowners? Mr. Smith said no unless it is internal then there is a SAD.
Member Kramer said he did not see money in the budget for bike paths and sidewalk maintenance. He would like to see that in the budget. Mr. Smith said it was moved and increased to $15,000.
Member Kramer commented on water quality monitoring. He commented Village Oaks Subdivision was concerned about the deep end of the lake. Mr. Nowicki commented they are working on the storm water. Member Kramer asked if this was part of this issue? Mr. Nowicki said no. It is part of the drain program. He explained the Storm Water Finance Review Committee approved funding and the process is under way and he has gotten the draft report from JCK.
Member Kramer commented on Mr. Smith mentioning whether Council wants to have the sidewalks groomed for snow removal. He asked Mr. Smith when he wanted to discuss this issue? Member Kramer mentioned the 15 snowfalls of 4 inches of last winter probably is not accurate but this was not an average year. Mr. Smith commented it was considered a disaster and the city is looking at a $40,000 recovery.
Member Kramer asked should the department budget for more? He mentioned Mr. Smith might want to contact the weather service for figures. Mr. Smith said that was a rough estimate that he put together for budgetary purposes. He said with that amount the department should be able to take care of about everything. Member Kramer said the budget needs to be managed because of the increase in homes. He asked Mr. Smith to come with a figure that represents more of the norm so he could see the cost of the program whether it is for a home or sidewalks. Mr. Smith asked what sidewalks are in question? Member Kramer commented external city sidewalks. He said the policy suggested is for 4 inches of snow or greater. Member Schmid said he is not thrilled with plowing sidewalks. He said in subdivisions many homeowners do not even shovel their own walks then they want to come out on the mile road and get a shoveled walk. He questions the validity.
Member Lorenzo said she has a concern about spending money on sidewalks, putting in the sidewalks which the city requires developers to do, but if they are not going to be maintained during every season then what is the point? Member Kramer said the maintenance is put into the budget. Member Lorenzo said she fully supports. She thinks if Council could put in a dollar amount then she would hope that in the years that the city has significant snowstorms that the city would pay out of the General Fund to do the sidewalks and do the accounting at a later time. The city would always have it done regardless of how much snow falls. She said her goal is to see the sidewalks shoveled. Mr. Kriewall commented once the city gets sidewalks on each side of the road, it would cost $100,000 to $200,000 a year to maintain.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said that maybe the concentration should be around schools or library? Member Lorenzo said she is aware of complaints from parents saying the children could not get to school. Member Kramer suggested asking the school board what areas the children walk to school? Member Lorenzo said there are areas for other school districts. Mr. Kriewall believes that every school district has a radius where children are expected to walk to school. Member Kramer commented there are two things that should be made clear. He said one is 4 inches or more needs to be indicated, and that it would be low priority on the sidewalks. Mr. Nowicki said that would have to be in the policy. Member Kramer said it could read roads first followed by sidewalks if there is more than 4 inches of snowfall. He said specific sidewalks could be indicated to contain the costs.
Member Schmid asked out of the 30 years, how many years has the city shoveled sidewalks? Member Kramer said probably never. Member Lorenzo said just because it has never been done does not mean it should not be done. It is called service to the public. Member Schmid said it is called tax dollars and how to spend them. Member Lorenzo said this is how taxpayers are telling Council they want it spent, and Member Schmid said one taxpayer came before Council and said he was upset with the snow removal. Member Lorenzo said she thought there was more than one. Member Schmid said there was only one person who came to Council.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said Mr. Smith would be coming back to Council with some figures on what it might take to do some sidewalks, particularity those adjacent to schools. Member Kramer said thinking further, maybe the school district would share some of the cost of the removal. Member Schmid agreed with this point.
Mr. Smith started by announcing the municipal garage is for sale. He said some time has been spent on the maintenance of the garage. A new roof was done, which was a significant investment in the building. Member Kramer asked if it is a flat roof building? Mr. Smith answered yes. The bathroom and the kitchen also received some work for resale value.
Mr. Smith said one thing that was significant last year was that a permanent home was established for the forestry department. They were previously housed in the auxiliary storage building and he felt it was important to bring them in with the other municipal families. Mr. Smith said the city clerk’s office storage was relocated to the auxiliary building that actually increased the room for election material. The forest department is in a bay area and has running water, heat and some other services. Member Kramer asked if they gained office space in the Civic Center? Mr. Smith answered not yet.
Mr. Smith further stated he did not want to spend a large amount of money on the dome when they would be leaving the site. The workers did the repairs for under $3,000 on the dome and it made it through the winter, which was a good test.
Mr. Smith commented he put some decorative street signs on display at the DPW. The neighborhood associations want to put up nice signs but they are not reflective. He also mentioned they do not meet with the ordinance standards. The local businesses that make the signs do not understand what the city wants with the ordinance and it is important to get reflective signs. Member Kramer asked if the reflection problem could be handled with a paint material? Mr. Smith said he would have to see the product.
Mr. Smith commented on the safety and security improvements within the building. He stated new locks and keys have been installed and the staff list has been updated with the alarm company.
Mr. Smith commented on the open house for hazardous waste day, which was very successful.
He said there is no significant increase in cost and personnel is staying the same.
Member Schmid wanted clarification on the $20,000 for vehicle maintenance. He asked if it was right? Member Schmid mentioned building maintenance is $40,000. He wanted to know what this entails. Mr. Smith said there has been significant costs as a result of the roof problem. He had to replace almost all of the electrical and heating and cooling components and the amount of money is staggering that needed to be used for repair because of the roof. Mr. Smith said this amount also includes the salt dome and other miscellaneous issues.
Member Schmid asked how many mechanics are in the garage? Mr. Smith answered he has a head mechanic and a mechanic. Member Schmid asked if $20,000 would be the entire amount spent on vehicle maintenance? Mr. Gibson said a lot of the parts that are purchased come out of the operating supply to be worked on by city mechanics. He commented the $20,000 for vehicle maintenance is for work completed outside of the department. Mr. Kriewall commented the city has excellent mechanics.
Member Schmid asked when is the city planning on selling the garage? Mr. Kriewall said it might take another year from the summer of 2000 to build a new building and move out. He estimated around the middle of the year 2001. The city got 20 years out of the building and probably would get 4 or 5 million for the sale of the property.
Member Lorenzo asked about the single axle-dumping plow mentioned in the 1998-1999 budget. She asked if this has been purchased? Mr. Smith said no. He is asking Council for their approval. Member Lorenzo said this is being asked for even though this is for 1999-2000? She asked if it had been asked for last year? Mr. Smith said he had asked for a tandem truck and Council approved it so he is asking for another one this year as a single axle. He clarified this item should be under the 1999-2000 objective. Member Lorenzo asked if this item is in the budget? Mr. Smith said it is under heavy equipment. Member Lorenzo questioned Mr. Smith if he had two and three under the CIP? Mr. Smith commented he gave Council a six year program. What he has done is stagger them in tandem every other year so they are single every other year with plows.
Member Lorenzo asked about the contract with RRRASOC. Mr. Kriewall said their budget is coming up. Member Lorenzo believes their budget meeting is around the same time as the city and commented they had a representative at the meeting last year. Mr. Kriewall commented they came because there were some adjustments last year in how they were compensated.
Member Lorenzo commented on the hazardous waste day if it might be possible for any additional items to be linked to the day. The people might be able to pick up smoke detectors as an example. Mr. Smith commented he could discuss that with his contract with city environmental on his day, and he could try to persuade the other contractors from the other cities.
Mr. Nowicki commented that last year the day was turned into an open house atmosphere. They would like to do that same thing again this year and hopefully other departments would want to participate and turn it into a city open house informational day. Member Lorenzo commented the day is coming up in Farmington Hills. She wanted to know how it has been advertised? Mr. Smith commented it has been on cable and flyers. Member Lorenzo commented the community should have a couple of weeks to collect their items. Mr. Nowicki mentioned they would get with the Oakland Press and the Novi News. Member Lorenzo mentioned the Northville Record also. Mr. Smith said Northville is not participating in this project and clarified people can go to Farmington Hills on May 8, 1999 and Wixom on May 24, 1999. He wanted to clarify that this project was a Novi initiative.
Member Lorenzo commented on the mechanic requested. Mr. Smith said the department does not need one this year but probably next year. Member Lorenzo asked if he was comfortable with this issue? Mr. Smith explained he temporarily assigned one of the heavy equipment operators when there has been need. The past winter there was great need and he sees the need for the position in the future. He mentioned the mechanics support all the other departments in the building and with all the equipment being bought, there is more need for a mechanic.
Member Kramer said he does not know how it works with the heavy equipment operators but if the equipment is broken then the skills have to be present in the employees. Mr. Nowicki said the staff handles the minor repairs. Member Kramer commented the city needs to hire persons that have the ability to drive the cars and can do the maintenance. Mr. Smith thinks it is efficient. Member Kramer commented it is desired that the workers would not have to read instructions on the operation of a piece of equipment. Mr. Smith said that has happened but the trucks are assigned to the same people all the time. He commented they get their trucks ready for the winter months so they are familiar with all the settings. He said the staff usually knows when something is weak in the system. When an item breaks it usually is not a big surprise. Member Kramer said the benefit is when the operators are a mechanic, they know they have to fix whatever is broken. Mr. Nowicki again said they are assigned to one vehicle and they have a good ownership with the vehicle and take care of the maintenance. Mr. Smith said he is trying to maintain his head mechanic authority over these vehicles. They are very expensive vehicles and he wants them maintained in a specific way.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented on signs. He said that a sign is no longer pointing to Border Hill leading off of Ten Mile and he has had comments from residents. Mr. Smith said these signs were installed without any permission. Mr. Nowicki said they would install a sign to solve the problem temporarily.
MAJOR STREET FUND
Mr. Les Gibson commented on the special assessment that was passed through activity coming out of the special assessment fund. He explained as the city gets the money, it shows up in revenue then it was paid off in principal and interest. The gas and weight tax is where the major streets get three times the amount that local street get per mile.
Mr. Gibson said the interest on investments is $218,000 with a total of 1.7 million dollars in new revenue and the anticipation of rollover money of $2.2 million with a total budget of about 4 million dollars.
Mr. Gibson explained how to get the construction number. He said the city takes the maintenance and debt service transfer requirements and identifies them. The city takes all the maintenance items and basically forces any balance remaining after this into construction. The total revenue is over 4 million dollars. He said there is $1.3 million dollars in maintenance and debt service item that leaves the balance of 2.7 million available for construction on major streets.
Member Kramer asked about major, local and municipal street funds. He wanted to know if these are maintenance funds? Mr. Smith answered they are everything funds. Member Kramer asked if these were bonds? Mr. Gibson said no. Mr. Smith explained major and local funds are set up to mimic the State of Michigan funding mechanisms. The major funds can only go on the big roads and local funds can only be used on the local roads. He explained the municipal fund is a Novi fund that the city can do anything they see fit.
Mayor ProTem Crawford commented that miscellaneous income is not listed and what was it before? Mr. Gibson said the city had some minor grants.
LOCAL STREET FUND
Mr. Gibson commented that the local street fund is very similar but there are more miles and a lot less revenue coming into the fund. He said local street monies are never adequate to cover the number of miles of local streets but the state has allowed a 25% transfer of their street money into the local street monies. He said the gas and weight tax allocated to this fund is $526,000 along with the $344,000 out of the major street fund. Member Kramer said this is supposed to be transferred to the local street fund? Mr. Gibson said that is the plan.
Mr. Gibson said they are also planning on transfers from the municipal street fund of a .5 million dollars in order to subsidize the work that needs to be done on some local streets. Member Lorenzo commented he is talking about local streets? Mr. Gibson said yes. He said basically that this is subsidized from the major and local street funds into the construction on the major roads. Member Lorenzo commented the municipal could be transferred into the major or the local. Mr. Gibson said that is correct or it can be spent directly.
Mr. Gibson said routine maintenance costs $550,000, traffic services and winter services are estimated at $100,000 each, and the City could spend $849,000 on local streets.
MUNICIPAL STREET FUND
Mr. Gibson said municipal street fund has some activity from the special assessment fund that has to be budgeted. He said the primarily revenue source is property tax which is estimated just under 1.3 million dollars. Member Kramer asked is this the 1 mill? Mr. Gibson said yes.
Mr. Gibson said he is anticipating an interest earnings of $333,650 for a total current revenue $2,266,327 with a carry over $1,599,644 for a total budget of $3,865,971.
Mr. Gibson said the primarily expenditures are $10,000 coming out of administration. He said there is the $500,000 transfer from the local street fund to subsidize that operation and there is some debt service that is on the municipal garage budget. He said there is $10,000 for data processing and at this point the interest is associated with the special assessment fund. The balance is approximately $2,417,109, which is available for construction.
Member Lorenzo asked if this money could only be used on streets or to pave the parking lot at the City Building? Mr. Kriewall only said for streets. Member Kramer asked if it can be used for sidewalks or bike paths? Mr. Nowicki said that would come out of local and major street funds because a certain percentage can be used for sidewalks. Member Kramer commented that since money is transferred between the funds then the city can choose where to spend the money. He said whatever the percentage is if more is needed the city can get it between funds. Mr. Gibson said an opinion from the city attorney is necessary to see if that money from the municipal street fund can be used for other purposes. Member Kramer said he would like to know because he thinks it is important to build sidewalks and bike paths and to be able to maintain. He believes the fund should be proportional and they are both public modes of transportation.
Mr. Kriewall said this is a six year road program that keeps resurfacing. Member Kramer commented he does not see this as the total use of the budget. Mr. Nowicki commented Council would see the six year road program at the next Council meeting for another proposal for the update. Member Lorenzo asked if the city had to do some soft cut on an understream on part of the street would this come under the road program? Mr. Nowicki said for maintenance it would come out of local street fund for solving individual irrigation problems. Member Lorenzo commented some of the money could be transferred out of various funds. Is this what Mr. Gibson is saying can be done? Mr. Nowicki explained that Mr. Gibson could transfer some of the money out of the municipal street into the local street fund. Mr. Gibson said if it is definitely a street related problem and is not a drain revenue fund. Mr. Nowicki commented this would not be drain revenue fund because it would be strictly associated with a personal irrigation program. Member Lorenzo commented once it reaches a public street it would be considered a street? Mr. Kriewall said it would be the city unless the problem is caused by a privately owned property.
Member Kramer wanted clarification on the road program fund. Mr. Nowicki said it is the current one approved by Council. Member Kramer said he got a better understanding that the money goes for these three road funds and the road bond. Member Kramer commented when the city was looking at priorities for the bond program and when the Council was reviewing the needs of the city, these issue were not separate. He said it came down to what roads in the city does Council think should have priority for approval regardless of location of the funding. He commented there is a proposed new drain on Meadowbrook Road that is not on the discussion lists. Mr. Nowicki commented two years ago the Council directed it be put into the program. Member Kramer said he is not sure if Meadowbrook Road would be considered in the top ten roads. Mr. Nowicki commented that is why the six year road program is brought up every year for review. Member Kramer believes this program should be in harmony with the road funds. He commented this is a maintenance program not a new construction program. Mr. Nowicki commented the six year road program has always been maintenance.
Member Schmid mentioned the re-paving on Eleven Mile. Mr. Nowicki said that was not on a six year road program but a bond issue.
Member Kramer said he did not see anything about sidewalks and bike paths in the maintenance program. Mr. Nowicki said if they go into a subdivision like Meadowbrook Glens the city repairs the sidewalks at the intersection. Member Kramer asked how about the mile roads? Mr. Nowicki said that is out of the $15,000 in the budget. Member Kramer said that is not listed? Mr. Smith answered it is a separate fund.
Member Kramer said as a goal and objective for 1999-2000 budget in the road fund is listed Ten Mile Road improvements to Haggerty and Ten Mile. He said this does not seem to be in line with the priorities and a discussion needs to be held. Mr. Nowicki said this has already been authorized. Member Kramer said this is listed under the goals and objectives for 1999-2000. Mr. Nowicki said it is in the process. Member Kramer asked when would it be funded? Mr. Nowicki commented preliminary engineering was funded two years ago. Member Kramer commented a design has not been agreed upon? Mr. Nowicki said it is still in design and still being funded. Member Kramer asked if they are designing three different processes? Mr. Nowicki said a number of different cross sections are being designed based on Council studies. Member Kramer said he agrees with the full range of studies. Mr. Nowicki said with the Michigan Department of Transportation the feasibility analyses and the termination of what is there is called a preliminary engineering. Mr. Nowicki said right now Rod Arroyo and JCK are evaluating the boulevard sections, and that is the last step before coming back for a recommendation for the alternatives.
Member Kramer commented the goals and objectives should recognize the 1998-1999 bond goal. Mr. Nowicki said that is being worked on. He said it could be reflected but he hoped it would be resolved in the 1998-1999 instead of the 1999-2000 year. Member Kramer said he understands now that major road funding is being done as a maintenance item and it is a complex area and apologized for all the questions but understands more of how this process comes together.
BREAK from 10:30 until 10:35 p.m.
Member Lorenzo commented on the catch basin and asked on an annual basis, are two more personnel needed? Mr. Smith said this was to clean the drains, which involves removing the debris and dispose. He said just to inspect them would go much faster. Member Lorenzo said it takes one person? Mr. Smith said the job requires two people. Member Lorenzo commented they are not being inspected on an annual basis? Mr. Smith said they are not being inspected on an annual basis.
Member Lorenzo asked on an annual basis does the department have enough people to inspect every catch basin? Mr. Nowicki said the program is in the beginning stages with three men. Member Lorenzo asked again how many people are needed for 1999-2000 to inspect every catch basin? Mr. Nowicki again said the program has just started with three men and the fourth man started in September. He said the department would like another year to get the program up and running to get the men familiar and structure the program.
Mr. Nowicki would like to find a way to more efficiently do the inspections and cleanings. Mr. Nowicki said it is taking longer because the department is sharing the vactor and once the department gets one, they would be able to do more and get the staff on the road. Mr. Nowicki commented everything is brand new and they are trying to do everything at once. He explained they are trying to construct access roads and maintain them, and trying to catch up on inspections. Member Lorenzo said she appreciates these but she is trying to help the department and the city. Mr. Nowicki said it is not every day they turn down people. Member Lorenzo wants the city to be successful and commented if the department is given the extra year, she wants to see them all done next year. Member Lorenzo again mentioned she wants them done whether they need somebody or not. Member Lorenzo asked if the department could meet this goal? Mr. Smith commented he understands the Rouge project is the recognized authority in storm water. He does not know if a yearly inspection of every catch basin is necessary. He does not know if that is where he wants to apply his manpower. Mr. Smith said about half of the catch basins have been inspected in the last year and some are receiving work and they have addressed the one emergency. He said to answer her question directly he would need another year. Member Lorenzo said it was a year and a half to finish but the catch basins have already been inspected last year and next year they would need to be inspected again. Mr. Smith commented that if Member Lorenzo wants an annual inspection he is not comfortable. He is not sure it is necessary. Member Kramer said maybe a percentage needs to be checked. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented some may need inspection twice a year and others may not need any attention depending on what is found. Mr. Smith said that is true.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what is an inspection? Mr. Smith said it involves taking off the lid and looking down. Mayor ProTem Crawford commented then a mark is left and the department cleans it out if needed? Mr. Smith answered a structural inspection is done, too. Member Lorenzo said if the city is not doing this, the city is not a premier city in terms of storm water management. She said the City needs to talk to people at the Rouge Program office or other organizations in a Rouge community. This is part of what the Rogue program is recommending. She said if this program is being questioned, then the department is questioning everything that the City has been doing and everything the Rouge office and Wayne County recommends. Member Schmid said just because Wayne County says they have to be cleaned and inspected every year does not mean that needs to be done.
Member Lorenzo said she has a hard time understanding these basic things the City does not do, but they can have a tremendous amount of money in the conferences and workshops fund? No one ever questions this money. Member Schmid said inspecting these catch basins makes no sense and suggested that Member Lorenzo inspect the drains with one of the staff. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if information has been made available stating every two or three years is sufficient? Member Lorenzo said she would look at any information that would be available. Mr. Smith said if every city was to do them every three years, the cities would be in great shape. He said the work that Novi does is leading over many other communities. Member Schmid asked for Member Lorenzo to find a city that inspects their catch basins every year. He said if she could show him one city, he would support her.
Mayor ProTem Crawford asked Mr. Smith to gather more information on recommendations on what the department has done. He mentioned some drains might need more attention than others. He verified that Mr. Smith is asking for another year to get the program established. Mr. Smith said a work program might be necessary like the road program. He would present to Council a storm water work plan because there are other areas he would like to address besides the catch basin. He said there is a vast network of sewers and natural parts to the larger system and it does need attention and growth. He said the crew is doing an excellent job. Member Lorenzo said she applauds the job that he and his staff have done but from everything that she has read and from discussions with persons in this field, the city is behind. Mr. Smith suggested starting with a work plan that shows all the components of the system and then maintenance numbers could be assigned to decide the number of times every year to address the issue.
Mayor ProTem Crawford said a consensus of Council is needed before embarking on this involved situation. Member Lorenzo questioned if this kind of information needs to be provided to receive the grants? Mr. Nowicki answered the grants the city gets right now and the general permit with respect to the list discharges and that calls for an inspection of the entire system primarily as it relates to the Rouge River and its tributaries during dry weather times. He said this would start this summer. The crew would walk each of the creeks and streams that are tributary to the Rouge that has discharges of stormwater, and they would inspect these discharges for any discoloration of water. He said they have talked to Oakland County DPW to provide training for staff to do this process. This is generally what the general permit relates to. Member Lorenzo said that is only one aspect. There are polluted preservation initiatives that need to be maintained. Mr. Nowicki said it is not a mandate. Member Lorenzo commented that needs to be prepared in the budget. Mr. Nowicki said the department is preparing. Member Schmid wanted clarification on what kinds of pollution? Mr. Nowicki said the major concern is the septic fields. Mr. Nowicki said one of the things the department did for lake clarity is testing which the storm water committee funded. He said water samples were taken around various areas and tested, and they all came back within the perimeters.
Member Schmid agreed that the catch basins should be inspected but there should be a reasonable approach. He said if they do not get inspected every year, he thinks it is not being unreasonable. Mayor ProTem Crawford said the department would be better equipped after a year or more. Member Schmid explained how the catch drains operate and believes if they are cleaned out this year they should last for some time. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what is bad about leaf or stick debris? Mr. Smith said there are sediments that run off. Member Lorenzo commented there is also salt. Mr. Nowicki commented the concentration that the city gets are normal road de-icing agents.
DRAIN PERPETUAL MAINTENANCE
Mayor ProTem Crawford wanted clarification between the drain revenue and drain perpetual funds. Mr. Kriewall said the perpetual maintenance fund is simply the tap in fees paid by the developer to hook into the city storm water system. He said it is intended to build to a point where the city would have 10 million dollars in there and the interest would fund maintenance of our system and the city could reduce the 1 mill levy. Mr. Kriewall said this program was funded three ways when it started out: With a bond issue, a continual 1 mill maintenance fund, and a perpetual maintenance funded from tap-in fees by developers. He said the fund balance is $3,652,541.
Member Kramer asked what does it need to grow to fund itself? Member Kramer commented the city is about 36% there. He said this money is not being used. Mr. Gibson said this is for a future resource.
WATER AND SEWER
Mr. Bruce Jerome said there has been a lot of growth on the system this year and last year the department had major goals. One goal was to improve the viability of the system. He said their number one project was to be working proactively with the Detroit Water and Sewer system to get much needed capital improvements in their system which would benefit Novi as a customer community at the end of the line. Mr. Jerome said they have meet with Detroit at least four times and several phone calls and a lot of correspondence basically trying to get them to invest and construct a booster station within Novi, which would provide the city with some relief for the city pressure problems.
Mr. Jerome said it has been a good year in construction. They have completed about a mile and half of a 16" watermain on Meadowbrook Road between Twelve and Thirteen Mile, then on Thirteen Mile from Meadowbrook Road over to Novi Road. The department recently completed two miles of 16" watermain from Grand River and Wixom Road down to Eleven Mile and Wixom Mile and along Eleven Mile from Beck Road to Wixom Road. Mr. Jerome said just over two miles watermain with the Taft Road Extension project were done. The department has taken some giant steps at closing out some of the major components of the system.
Mr. Jerome said another goal is to remain in compliance with the Safe Drinking Water Act. He said a couple of the operators successfully renewed their advanced level of state certification. The city has had good results with lead and copper monitoring program. Mr. Jerome said the city has passed five rounds within the standards and the sixth round of samples were collected.
Mr. Jerome said they have been working with the City of Detroit Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and 123 customer communities of the Detroit Water and Sewer system, to jointly put out a consumer confidence report that is a federally mandated document, which is due in October of this year. He said because Detroit powers water for 123 communities, it was suggested each community should participate in the document.
Mr. Jerome said there is a water meter change out happening. He explained as water meters age due to metal deposits wearing on the internal parts, they have to be replaced. The department has been in the process of changing commercial meters and this should be finished in June.
Mr. Jerome said they have been working with JCK on a scada system. He said if there are some pressure problems, the department has jet recorders and they have to be manually changed on the charts once a week. Mr. Jerome said the scada system is through a computer and the pressure setting could be made 24 hours a day.
Mr. Jerome said they are to rebuild at two of the lift stations, which are County Place and Stonehedge. He wants to replace the pumps and bring the controls out and above grade. The department performs maintenance checks three times a week and it takes two staff members one hour per station plus the fire department has to stand by for rescue.
Mr. Jerome said the goal for next year is to continue to work with Detroit. He said the department has picked a couple of possible sites on Fourteen Mile for their booster station. Member Kramer asked if there is a date? Mr. Kriewall said it probably would take a couple of years. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if one of these possible sites looks better than the previous sites? Mr. Kriewall said the city is working on site approval.
Mr. Jerome commented on the sanitary sewer system. It is a project that would be started this year and would include some root treatment in Willowbrook Subdivision. There are some problems in Meadowbrook Glens so the department wants Council to know what is involved in the program. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked what is the treatment? Mr. Jerome said it is a chemical treatment but depending on the severity of the problem, there are slip linings that can be put into the sewer. Mr. Jerome said he is not proposing this for this project. He said once the root is killed then there are procedures to follow. Member Schmid commented there could be a lot of underwater riverline. Mr. Jerome said that could happen depending on ground water conditions around the sewer pipe. Mayor ProTem Crawford asked if the city has a problem with roots? Mr. Jerome said the last couple of years there have been some root problems but there is new technology with the pipes.
Mr. Jerome said they are looking to continue the meter replacement program and they have identified about 5,000 residential meters greater than 10 years old and this would be over a three year cycle for replacement.
Mr. Jerome said the department is looking for two replacement pick up trucks. He said one would be replacing a 1991 and the other a 1993. They are also requesting a sewer cleaning machine. It is a small machine that basically can be driven across the lawn and perform work on drains and sanitary sewer lines that run in behind houses. Mr. Nowicki said the city has a lot of cross sewer and a person can not drive a truck over these areas.
Mr. Jerome said he is also requesting a standby generator. He said in 1997 the city’s daily average was 4.5 million gallons per day, in 1998 the city was up to 4.6, and in 1999 the city jumped to 6.9 million gallons per day. He commented he did not have the numbers on water and sewer rates to present to Council that evening.
There being no further business before City Council, the meeting was
adjourned at 11:25 p.m.
Hugh D. Crawford Tonni L. Bartholomew
Mayor ProTem City Clerk
Transcribed by: Melissa H. Place
Date Approved: May 24, 1999