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SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, MAY 8, 2000 AT 8:00 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 8:03 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche and Kramer.
ALSO PRESENT: Richard Helwig, City Manager
Craig Klaver, Assistant City Manager
Dennis Watson, City Attorney
Kathy Smith-Roy, Finance Director
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked to continue the public hearing through the May 15, 2000 meeting next Monday.
CM-00-05-142 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda and continue the
Public Hearing on 2000-2001 City of Novi Budget at the May 15th
Vote on CM-00-05-142 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
Lynn Kocan, 23088 Ennishore, addressed the budget issue. Stated she had not really looked at the budget but with regard to the Parks and Recreation was glad to see the budget reflect the upgrades in the sports park. She noted it would still not be complete once the restrooms were finished and felt there would never be lush grass at this sports park and wanted Novi to take a good look at the park as she felt it wasnít done right. Tax abatement, she agreed with Glen Bonaventura that Novi sells itself. If the city can afford to give away tax dollars, then refund residents their tax dollars for paving roads, installing streetlights, sewer assessments, etc. They had to come up with the money and they should be reimbursed first before giving a tax abatement. Whistle blower Ė She was extremely grateful that the employee allowed his conscience to assist him in doing the right thing by reporting illegal dumping and thanked Mr. Helwig for his comments in upholding high standards by not tolerating this.
Toni Nagy 22647 Cranbrooke thanked Mr. Helwig and Mr. Klaver for meeting with her to discuss road repairs in Lakewood. The north end didnít appear to be on the list for road repaving. She noted Mayor Clark discussed the number of unpaved roads during his campaign and she asked the Council to make it a priority and not wait. Tax abatements, most in her subdivision agreed they did not want them and felt if it were a GM plant, it would be another story. Novi had a lot of development coming in without abatements and hoped Councilís policy would be stringent and fair to everyone here.
Leonard T. Williams, General Manager of Hotel Baronette, supported a tax abatement policy, as it would be a tool for Council to use for selected growth within the city boundaries. Also supported Textron Industries and felt that Council should grant a limited tax abatement because it would allow them to consolidate their 8 research labs to Novi. It wasnít speculative, but a viable business that would bring 540 employees, families and estimated payroll of $40
million. The Main street businesses and hotel would all benefit and he noted they were asking for limited tax abatement. After the abatement period was over, they would pay approximately $1 million in taxes. He urged Council to vote yes on tax abatement policy and yes to Textron with limited tax abatement.
Ginger Barrons, 24425 Glenda, Southpointe condos was very concerned that the presentation on S. Lake Drive was given at the May 1, 2000 Council meeting and the Condos were not included in the process. Residents there were not in favor of the proposed solution. Their biggest concern was the emergency vehicles that had to come there; her mother lived there and was saved due to the quick response by EMS. She asked that they consider 15-mph speed limits. Noted concern that Associationís or management companies were notified of this presentation rather than individual condo owners and requested inclusion of Southpointe Condo residents in future notices. Also of concern was that this item moved from a presentation item to an action item and she felt it was fast-forwarded without proper notification to residents. Lastly, she was not in favor of tax abatements and felt that entities would come to Novi anyway.
Member Kramer requested the notification policy to condo owners be reviewed.
Discussion was held that Member Crawford asked for discussion or action during the May 1, 2000 agenda and wanted to provide direction to staff to come back with potential for no left turn sign, etc.
Member DeRoche questioned the creation of a judgment trust fund for settlements? Response was it was for anticipated liabilities. Member DeRoche asked why, every year, it seemed the City was paying deductibles or settlements and questioned if this would be a change from the line item that had been used in the past. Mayor Clark responded it was developed so that at the last minute, Council would not be looking for other sources of funding throughout the budget. Member DeRoche thought it was a good idea but felt $325,000 was a very conservative number but didnít want it over-funded with an accumulation of funds by holding taxpayers money. He appreciated the budget cuts throughout, as he was not originally sold on police video equipment unless funds were available. Last comment was regarding CDBG funds and he strongly recommended when HAVEN returned to Council and requested a portion of the funds Council approve them.
Member Csordas asked if the traffic ordinance officer was needed for enforcement. Chief Shaeffer responded they could apply for grant. Over the life of the grant, it could end up making money for the community, while not the motive, they currently get many calls for traffic enforcement. Member Csordas stated this would allow this position for at least the first 3 years and in subsequent years $8-!2,000 including benefits would be needed.
Chief Shaeffer was asked about the mileage on vehicles and the formula for ordering vehicles. Itís ordered and budgeted for in one fiscal year and delivered the next fiscal year as the City was making an agreement to purchase.
Member Csordas asked Chief Lenaghan about paid on-call wages. $13.11 to $17.20 with an average of $15/hour. He recommended and hourly increase in rate with a $10,000 increase in personal services of the Fire department. Finance Director Smith-Roy stated they included it all in personal services. Member Csordas asked Council to consider that increase to be included in the budget.
Member Bononi noted most items she requested be reduced had been but nothing across the board for seminars and workshops, excluding those items for certifications and credentials. She asked for 20% and also shared Member Csordas' concern for vehicles for the Police Department. She felt that was not the case with regard to the vehicles for the Building Department and proposed the purchase of 2 vehicles for building and the 3rd person could request mileage. With regard to the listing, she didnít see the request as justified. Also concerned about where the CDBG funds rest. She agreed that park facilities needed to be updated but those funds could be used in other infrastructure uses as well and wanted those areas pursued in another geographic area. It was more traditional in building and planning divisions and would like to see that happen. She asked if any portion of the funds were being proposed for the 9-Mile sidewalk?
Mayor Clark was also concerned about the proposed 9 Mile road pathway even with the grant. He said the residents opposed it and felt the City could spend the match of $64,000 and put the path across the street on 9 Mile. Our society wonít allow children to be on a bike path on a major road; in 15 years there had been very few joggers and bike riders. The berm was placed for a reason of privacy with trees, etc. He asked Administration to put the money toward Village Oaks roads. Everyoneís roads could not be addressed this year but he hoped these funds could be put to better use and let the taxes go back into other amenities. He was surprised to see that Turtle Creek residents were not notified because County records were not up to date; however Tax bills and other items made their way there. It was extremely important to have the proper notification take place; lack of communication was the biggest problem and by correcting this, it would help. He strongly suggested the bike path on 9 Mile be put to rest, as it was not what the residents wanted. The grant funding could be used elsewhere and MDOT should be contacted in regard to this.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo had additional cuts to make and appreciated the administration attempts to cut the budget. Three proposed vehicles should be eliminated; there was not even 60,000 miles on them. The ordinance vehicle was only 4 years old and this money could be spent in other areas such as the traffic ordinance enforcement officer to concentrate on the speeding problem. She wanted to fund the SMART trailer instead of borrowing one. Also, do away with $90,000 for new computers and support critical equipment in IT. She asked if the Fire department OPTICOM was available? Chief Lenaghan stated the equipment had been around for 20 years and was really a DPS project and nothing would be implemented without OCRC. Start up costs would be the first step in dealing with traffic and he felt there were a number of intersections where it would enhance safety. Currently, fire apparatus could not be seen until they were in the intersection. Finance Director Smith-Roy suggested using road funds.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo felt the citizenís police academy was not the best use of $9,900 and preferred funds to be used for purchase of SMART trailer. She also felt the 50ís festival funds were not necessary and the City could get $10,000 or $11,000 more out of the building and grounds line item with regard to the carpet and tile removal and replacement of tables and chairs which would come to $80,950.
She said presently the number that was deleted $70,000 so they could pick up another $10,950 if Council eliminated those two items from Building and Grounds. By removing the 3 vehicles, 1 park and recreation vehicle for $22,000 and one ordinance enforcement vehicle, the police academy, 50ís festival and new computers and using road funds for Opticom, plus the $10,950 out of Building and Grounds there would be an additional $255,850. This money could go towards a new fire protection officer, traffic enforcement officer and the SMART trailer and it would only be about $150,000. The additional monies could be put into the Community Sports Park restroom, the restroom near the playscape and field improvements.
Member Crawford asked where administration wanted to go with this as justification was already made for these things. He asked Planning and Developmental Services Director Conley to justify.
Ms. Conley responded they were on a 5-year rotation and with maintenance schedule, anything beyond that and the need for maintenance increased sharply. The department participated with Oakland County purchasing and the cars could be obtained easier than police vehicles at a discounted rate.
Member Crawford asked about parks and recreation vehicle. 1989 GMC has 82,000 miles responded Parks and Recreation Director Davis who stated they use a 10-year rotation. Site supervision was the main function of the vehicle during the last three years of the cycle along with park visits to provide service on site. The Building Supervisor also used this vehicle to maintain the Police Department and city hall.
Member Crawford commented that the parks are in the current condition because only certain funds were allowed to be spent.
Mr. Helwig commented he the direction of Council. Council was stating they wanted to squeeze everything out of city assets that staff could by getting more funds for park improvements and neighborhood streets including safety forces and noted staff would prepare this for Thursdayís packet. There would eventually be a price to pay to get back in line with replacing the assets and realized the obligation to deliver services and make due in order to get the job done. He felt there was so much other work to be done.
Member Crawford also felt there was a price to pay and it had been paid in yearís prior. He felt they shouldnít be spending time on the police academy and 50ís festival. They had to make sure there was consensus of four or more who shared the same ideas. He asked Chief Shaeffer about elimination of the police academy and what the advantages were. Chief Shaeffer stated it was a popular outreach program for citizens to understand the department better and provided opportunity to explain how and why things were done. Instructor overtime was included in the budgeted item. Funds would be used to pay for Novi residents and share instructional costs. This was a component of community policing and noted itís at the high school level in the upper grades. Member Crawford felt it was money well spent.
Member Crawford asked about the $23,000 for the 50ís festival. Ms. Smith-Roy responded these costs included overtime for DPW, police and fire. Member Crawford asked what was returned to the community? Mr. Klaver responded money and people were brought into the
community and direct sponsorships as a result for band shell, clock and stage. Member Crawford noted there was a direct return and indirect return for businesses.
He wanted to add into the budget for police and safety related items:
Mr. Helwig met with the Novi Superintendent of schools and requested that this be seriously considered. They would be willing to split the cost 40%. This would pay dividends with regard to crime prevention and other things from happening in the city.
Mayor Clark supported an officer in the school. Ms. Smith-Roy noted there would be $30,000 involved with the C.O.P.S. grant, as some costs were not covered.
Member Bononi would not support the program and felt it took more research than talking about it at a council meeting. She did some research and found other programs that were available without a city match. She was not interested in going any farther and was concerned about the delineation of the school district and who benefited. Until she saw a drafted document and the other school districts were considered, she would not support this.
Mayor Clark felt it paid to be proactive rather than reactive and with a grant writer the City was just now getting back on track with this item.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo shared concerns with Member Bononi on assigning police officers to the community first before the schools. Chief Shaeffer reported there should be a specific number of officers per residents and their obligation was to the citizens. She felt the school should use their school funds for that program. She commented that the 50ís festival and police academy were great programs but if items previously mentioned could be done and then find the money, fine. If not, she definitely did not want the school liaison officer.
Member Kramer suggested looking at combining the function of the D.A.R.E. officer with the school liaison with participation of the school district those two functions could merge. Apply for the grant, consider how to manage it and define the jobs.
Mayor Clark noted the school children were part of the community at large and Council needed to accept responsibility for the protection of kids and supported getting the grant.
Member DeRoche appreciated Mr. Helwigís confidence and leadership role. He felt if recommendations were brought back, their thoughts considered they could systematically vote for or against specific items. The money was not spent yet. If we consider a traffic ordinance
officer, acknowledge that it would be reflected in revenues. Ms. Smith Roy noted it would barely bring in $5,000.
CM-00-05-143 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To direct the City Manager to take into account Councilís comments and wrap up and quantify the recommendations in specific form for approval in a list.
Member Kramer felt a very good job had been done on this cut but Parks and Recreation came up short. Discussion for personnel was appropriate with regard to an additional police officer, which would require another vehicle. He would support it if it were self-supporting. Paid on call Ė budget estimate would absorb that. Reallocate HCD funds, would like to be able to process the proposal to implement lakes area road drainage program and not support the entire HCD. Also, the 9-Mile bike path should be deliberated during road discussions. North vs. south side should be discussed and should be design sensitive. School liaison officer should coordinate with DARE. He said the 50ís festival got a fair return and supported it at a modest level. With regard to reduction of 20% for conferences reduce it by 10% and he would accepted that. He requested that Administration look at park money increase. Asked Chief Shaeffer about video equipment phase in and he responded it was not desirable but could be considered. Suggested reducing by half or full amount the Planning Commission, $4,000. $25, 000 not spent Fuerst property money and added to parks rounded up to $238,000.
Vote on CM-00-05-144 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
2. Review Tax Abatement Policy draft
Greg Capote asked for Council input on the fourth draft of the policy.
Mayor Clark suggested being as specific and brief as possible as this was the fourth edition of this document. Mr. Capote should be afforded some latitude to return with the proposed final document to be voted on.
Member Kramer accepted all changes on page 1, there were two jís on page two that would have to be combined or resolved and was told that one should have had the strikeout. Paragraph k Ė Strike "in jobs created" as the city was not in business to create new jobs and positive impacts needed to outweigh abated amounts.
Item R and T should be reflected in the contract- while not in the policy Ė but part of the legal agreement.
Capote to strike out R and T? Member Kramer noted R and T were stricken but have been captured in the legal agreement.
Member Crawford said the fourth draft was substantially closer to what they needed to do. He was in favor of a tax abatement policy but it needed to be restrictive and selective. There are opportunities to be looked at and he looked at abatements as gained tax dollars under the proper conditions and felt Greg Capote had done an excellent job.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo commented as the policy goes it was much improved from previous drafts and would like R and T to remain intact. Agreed that these criteria and a contract would go hand in hand. Letter U was misinterpreted and should say, "applicants will"Ö serve as a catalyst for those in the community. She had great concern with page 4, only in favor of R & D and not in favor of any new capital investment under $40 million. She would vote against it if it stayed in the policy.
Mayor Clark concurred, R and T should stay and also concurred regarding item U. He said if there were a policy it would be limited and have a high threshold. Should limit the number of applicants to four per year at the very most and each year, the applicants would begin again and not carry over.
Member Bononi commented regarding county and state documents endeavoring to define what Councilís contribution was and defining the development of the community. She did not believe they should give up the opportunity to define what the benefit was to us. Reads like a blank check and does not define what the applicant would do. There are no guarantees in this policy but should hold more water than this one. Her main problem was it did not require applicants to prove benefits to the city. She would not approve any commercial retail usage in this document and only would only consider a $50 million dollar threshold for 2 years. Any other activity under P.A. 198, she would only look at OST.
Member DeRoche felt he might have been able to support a vague policy and the more specific the policy, the more likely it was to be viewed by future decision-makers as meeting specific criteria. If he votes against it, he remains open to the idea of it and would evaluate other merits.
Member Csordas felt it contained everything he would like to see. Oakland County David Schriberís policy had everything he would like to see. It created a succinct yet flexible policy that insured that Council would retain control of the decision making process. Textron would bring $700,000 additional tax revenue. He would like to see the document adopted as proposed. He asked if warehousing was allowed? Mr. Capote said P.A. 198 stated it was allowed but retail was not allowed. Member Csordas stated he would vote for it as shown.
Member Kramer concurred with Member Csordasí comments but wanted to indicate on the basic document the things he disagreed with. Page 1, 3rd paragraph which said "all applicants must satisfy all applicable conditions of the policy at initial applications in order to be considered for abatement", he thought it was excessively strong and should say "they must substantially satisfy the conditions of the policy". Page 3, he said Item O, "no City of Novi funded infrastructure improvements would he would granted to applicants for tax abatements", and end it at that point. It is a policy decision regarding mitigation, doesnít believe it belongs in abatement policy. Item O is a statement from
corporation on profitability. He would support criteria that said " evidence of corporate ongoing profitability, viability and vitality must be demonstrated such as". He did not thing they needed to spell out in all the details. He did not object to R staying in the policy but thought it belonged in the agreement as well. He totally disagreed with item S and would not support it being included because Council had the ability to decide that. Item T might be appropriate and it might not. He could not judge today what a company might propose in the future. They would be subjected to the same square one assessment by the policy and he would not support including up front that once tax abatement was received do not ask for another one.
Mayor Clark noted if there was a policy regarding 12 years, he would not support it but would support a maximum of six years but no more. He asked for a final draft available to Council in their packets for the May 15th meeting. Also, asked that copies be run for members of the public.
Greg Burkart, 500 Woodward Ave. works for Ernst and Young, Business Incentive Services, Michigan Jobs Commission, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation and was responsible for attracting companies to Michigan. He felt there were 3 reasons for having a policy. They get clients all the time that want to be in Southeastern Michigan. They take into account costs and a site that is cost competitive and cost consideration would cut Novi from the list without a policy. Also, positive or fiscal tax flow back to the Treasurers of the communities that adopt tax abatement policy. As an example he used Auburn Hills, who do have tax abatements and said today they are considering a couple of millage cuts. They have had such tremendous cash flow back to the Treasury that they are looking at a millage cut somewhere between 2 Ĺ and 3 mils per 1,000 over the next three to five years. In addition they are facing some Charter constraints with a special police fund that they have and there is a special assessment district that specifically flows to the police fund. They are looking at a budget surplus of $16 million in that special assessment district for the police fund. This was a community that 12 years ago was in the same boat that Novi is in and they are now enjoying excess revenues.
CM-00-05-145 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To adjourn the meeting at 10:37 PM.
Vote on CM-00-05-145 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: _______________________
Charlene Mc Lean
Date: June 5, 2000