REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
MONDAY, AUGUST 28, 2000, AT 7:30 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS – NOVI CIVIC CENTER – 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:36 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Led by World War II Veterans Douglas Henry and Louis Smith.
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche and Kramer
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo added two items under Mayor and Council Issues which were to refer the sign ordinance to the Ordinance Review Committee for review of unique or special projects and direct administration to send a letter to John McCulloch, Chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners requesting the status of the study of the septic system evaluation and inspection.
Member Csordas added under Mayor and Council Issues a brief discussion with the Fire Chief regarding the memo he sent.
Mayor Clark asked that Presentations be moved up before reports, then move to Special Reports and Committee Reports and then move to Council Action Part I. Mr. Neiman was present regarding Item #1, Adoption of Awarding Resolution accepting the bid of 4.9834% net interest costs for the $18,435,000 City of Novi 2000 Special Assessment Limited Tax Bonds.
CM-00-08-276 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-00-08-276 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
Mayor Clark read a letter received from Congressman Joseph Knollenberg directed to Mr. Henry and Mr. Smith. "It gives me great pleasure to offer congratulations to you as you are recognized for your military service to our country and presented with your well deserved World War II medals. With a deep sense of pride and gratitude I thank you for your dedicated service to our country. Our nation is strong and free because of the sacrifices that you and others made to guarantee the freedoms that we enjoy today. Once again congratulations and thank you for the unselfish and loyal commitment that you made on behalf of us all." Congressman Knollenberg signed the letter.
1. Presentation of medals earned from military service in the Army during
World War II– Mr. Douglas Henry
Douglas Henry served in the Air Force from April 1942 to November 1945. He was an airplane instrument mechanic in the 3rd Airdrome Squadron. The squadron was responsible for the creation and maintenance of U. S. military airstrips. Additionally, the 3rd Airdrome maintained, fueled and repaired military aircraft. Mr. Henry’s military service in WW II took him to Australia, New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan. A very important campaign Mr. Henry was involved in was on the Island of Leyte in the Philippines. It is the famous historical site where General Douglas MacArthur landed and his forces landed to take the islands back from the Japanese. Mr. Henry’s last campaign was Air Offensive Japan. There he took part in the U.S. occupation of Japan upon their surrender in August, 1945. He spent time in Shima in Tokyo where he and a squadron set up and ran an airstrip for post war operations. It is an honor and privilege to award Mr. Henry the Good Conduct Medal for exemplary conduct, efficiency and fidelity for one year or more of service during war time. Also, the American Campaign medal awarded for service outside the U. S. in the American theater, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign medal with four bronze stars awarded for service in the Asiatic Pacific theater for 30 days or more or receipt of any combat decoration. Mr. Henry would also receive the WWII Victory medal awarded for service in the U.S. Armed Forces between 1941 and 1946. He was also awarded the Philippine Liberation Ribbon with one Bronze Star and the honorable service lapel button for WWII.
2. Presentation of medals earned during service in the Navy during World War II– Mr. Louis Smith
Louis Smith served in the U.S. Navy from September 1943 until April 1946. He fought in the Asian Pacific theater on the U.S. Van Valkenburgh. The U.S. Van Valkenburgh was a naval destroyer whose mission was to warn and protect the U.S. Navel Fleet of oncoming enemy planes and kamikaze pilots. These navel destroyers often served as the first line of defense for the U.S. Navy and were known as the picket line. Mr. Smith was involved in military campaigns known well to many of us. His destroyer was in Hiroshima as the flag was being raised and in Okinawa where army and navy casualties were very high. The U.S. Van Valkenburgh sailed to Shanghai to clear the East China Sea prior to the bombing that led to the end of WWII. Afterward the Van Valkenburgh escorted a hospital ship to Nagasaki Japan. There they retrieved many prisoners held captive during the war. It is our pleasure and honor to award to Mr. Smith the Navy Occupation Service medal with Asia Clasp for 30 consecutive days of service in occupied territories of former enemies during war time. The Asiatic Pacific Campaign medal with three stars for service in the Asiatic Pacific theater for 30 days or receipt of any combat decoration. He also received the WWII Victory medal for service in the U.S. Armed Forces between 1941 and 1946 and the American Campaign medal for service outside of the U.S. in the American theater for 30 days or more or within the Continental U.S. for one year. He would also receive the honorable service lapel button.
3. Greetings from the Coffee Trader (new Main Street business)-Laura Dupell
A representative of the Coffee Trader was present to welcome citizens and Council into their store. They would offer a wide variety of coffees, yogurt, smoothies and a light lunch menu. They would offer curbside delivery this winter and reminded everyone that there was underground parking available. They would also have live Jazz during the winter.
SPECIAL REPORTS – None
Mayor Clark stated the next item would be Item #1 from Matters for Council Action Part I.
1. Adoption of Awarding Resolution accepting the bid of Merrill Lynch (bids to be opened Monday 8-28-00 at 4:00p.m.) for $18,435,000 City of Novi 2000 Special Assessment Limited Tax Bonds.
Mr. Neiman said bids were taken this afternoon on the $18,435,000 Special Assessment Project. There were seven superb bids, well under market and the winning bid was from Merrill Lynch at 4.98%. The bids all comported in full with the official notice of sale and were all legal valid bids. Mr. Neiman recommended strongly that the Merrill Lynch bid be accepted with a tentative delivery date of September 26th.
Robert Bendzinski agreed with Mr. Neiman. The Bond Buyer 20, which is a national average, was currently at a 5.49. This would be a 20-year bond. Today’s market has a relatively flat yield curve the longer you get out and they figured if an index for a 20 year bond issue was at 5.49 the index should be somewhere around 5.30 for a 15 year bond issue. This would be 1/3 of 1% lower than what he believed the market would be for that type of bond issue. Moody’s and Standard and Poor have confirmed the City’s limited tax general obligation ratings. Moody’s at 8.2 and Standard and Poor’s rating service at A+. These are excellent ratings and Mr. Bendzinski commended the Council and administration. When rating agencies confirmed the ratings it was a plus to the City and bond holders have put a lot of faith in the City by giving them an interest rate that was well below market rates. He concurred that the bid be accepted.
CM-00-08-277 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Crawford; MOTION CARRIED:
To adopt awarding Resolution accepting the bid of Merrill Lynch for
$18,435,000 City of Novi 2000 Special Assessment Limited Tax Bonds
Roll call vote on CM-00-08-277 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Member DeRoche reported for the Consultants Review Committee. They had completed their work for the year and were scheduling their work to come before Council. However, they would be available if more work required their attention. The accomplishments of this committee were:
1. Implemented a rotating three year process for the major contracts with the City such as the
engineering services, planning consultant and the City Attorney’s contracts.
2. Pursued and hired a Risk Manager who guided them through the insurance bidding process
and was currently working with the City to evaluate the City’s risk management practices and set forth a practice and mind set throughout the organization that would reduce exposures.
3. They would recommend hiring a health insurance consultant. The health insurance
Contracts would go out to bid both with Blue Cross/Blue Shield and with the PPO’s and HMO’s as well as the group life, short and long term disability and other benefits afforded to employees.
4. They had negotiated with two of the three major vendors, JCK and Birchler/Arroyo to hold
the line on their fees for this year.
5. They reviewed and recommended reassignment of the duties of real estate acquisition
from the engineering consultants to the legal consultants, which was currently being facilitated by the administration.
6. They initiated the process of keeping better notes and history of committee work.
7. The committee and administration learned some valuable lessons on advertising and
Publicity that would add value to the process and increase the competition for our dollars in Novi.
Member DeRoche noted items that had not yet been approved would be scheduled on the next two Council agendas for consideration.
PUBLIC HEARING - None
8. CITY MANAGER
Mr. Helwig commented on the Road Bond Issue and stated it was a divisive issue with the neighborhood focus groups concentrating on existing paved roads and whether or not there would be a policy of paving unpaved roads.
Mr. Helwig said " since my first visit to Novi, I had heard from citizens and elected leaders that improving our roads was the #1 long-standing, strategic issue facing our community. Toward that end, the budget this spring contained an expanded neighborhood street-resurfacing program of $2.3 million. Let me emphasize that all of this work has been done on existing paved roads in our neighborhoods. In previous City Council policy work sessions, I shared the input that we received when we listened to citizen focus groups and to City Council members. The result is a road improvement bond proposal that:
Is $18.4 million instead of $28.5 million.
Is focused more on neighborhoods and intersection safety and capacity improvements.
Does not include any dollars for 12 Mile Road or Crescent Drive improvements and includes a pledge not to return to the voters for a road bond for a minimum of five years if this issue passes November 7th.
When I presented recommendations to the City Council, I said that the issue of paving unpaved roads was a divisive issue, at least based on our focus groups. Since the cost, estimated at $1 million/per mile, for paving an unpaved road is very high, and since this downsized road bond proposal includes only $1,080,000 additional money for neighborhoods per year, I felt it was unrealistic to state that we could undertake paving unpaved roads in this bond proposal.
Having said this, I want to emphasize what else was said: Just as we did not know earlier this year where the first private dollar would come from in the $19 million we needed to improve 12 Mile Road, we are just as determined to undertake the assignment from a City Council goal setting session in November this year to explore every avenue and develop a plan for our unpaved roads. We will get nowhere, absolutely nowhere, if one group of citizens is pitted against another. We are committed to serving all of our citizens. We are committed to a higher standard of performance and problem solving than any other community in the region. Above all, we are committed to finding solutions when people say there are none."
Mayor Clark noted he had not seen Mr. Helwig’s comments until they were passed out but thought some of his mirrored Mr. Helwig’s as well. He hoped this would set the record straight as to the language in the proposed bond proposal. This matter had been discussed on several occasions at several meetings, all of which were open to the public, and which provided for the opportunity for public comment. The road bond provided for a number of improvements, which had been spelled out on the record. He suggested to Mr. Helwig and staff that the one sheet that broke down the proposed road bond into neighborhood subdivision street improvements, intersection safety and capacity improvements and leveraged dollars major street improvements are copied and be available to residents at the Clerk’s Office. They set forward what we proposed to do. Mayor Clark agreed with Mr. Helwig’s comments that actions speak louder than words. He thought their actions in the community in the last few months spoke to that issue. It was one thing to promise and it was another to deliver. He said they intended to deliver on their promises. They had begun that process and would diligently continue that process. As Mr. Helwig indicated, even with the commitment in the proposed road bond package of $1,080,000 a year for each of the next five years they could not begin to address the issue of the unpaved roads. Also, as had been indicated, if the road bond passed they would not come back to the voter for five years and ask them to approve any more millages for road bonds. There was no money in this proposal to pave unpaved streets. He repeated there was no money in this proposal to pave unpaved streets. He thought in the last meeting on the road bond, which was on a Saturday, that he had made this very clear. He said it then and would say it again that he was totally, absolutely, 100% committed to seeing that all unpaved roads in this community are addressed and dealt with fairly, equitably and as soon as possible. He indicated that in November there would be a goal setting session to deal with a number of goals and he planned on presenting this, the issue of unpaved roads in our community, as a #1 priority item. He repeated a #1 priority item. Working together creatively, he felt that the problem could be resolved. However, it would take some time and he asked each of the residents in the community to come together on this issue. He thought this summer with the number of projects going on they had attempted to show the exercise of good stewardship of public funds in addressing the #1 problem in our growing and vibrant community which was the road infrastructure.
Whether in Novi a short time, a life time or as in his family’s case over 20 years we all recognize we must improve our roads and major intersections if we are to maintain the vibrant community and quality of life that we all sought when we came to Novi. He could appreciate the community’s concern and perhaps a certain level of frustration. Again, he called on everyone for their patience a little longer.
This Council had been in office for 10 months and he thought a number of positive things for this community had been accomplished and even more would be accomplished if we worked together. Mayor Clark asked everyone in the community to come together on this issue. We have one of the best communities in the State of Michigan and together we could make it even better. We do not have time for the divisiveness of the past, which was both counterproductive and destructive of all the good positive goals that we want to achieve.
Member Csordas concurred with the previous speaker’s comments. He requested that two words be removed from the bond. On the first sentence where it said "neighborhood subdivision street improvements" strike and pavement. The first line would then read "$1,080,000 per year for five years of expanded neighborhood street resurfacing". Therefore, if someone did not hear or read Mayor Clark’s message they would read that and understand clearly.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo was concerned with the process and how this was brought forward.
We are talking about commitments and we made a commitment two weeks ago and we are breaking it already. She thought a choice had been made when the wording was added and assumed everyone knew what it meant to add it. She understood that $1,080,000 was not a lot of money. However, the greater issue was what was the philosophy? If we are going to address the issue in a goal setting session in November what are we going to say to the public. Would we say our philosophy was to not pave unpaved roads with City funds? Or was the philosophy to use existing City funds to pave roads. There are only two choices; a municipality believed in doing it or did not believe in doing it. Whether done from a road bond or taken from the local and municipal street fund she did not see a large difference. The City, residents and taxpayers would still pay one way or another. She did not think this had to wait until November for a goal setting session. This Council either agreed that the municipality should be involved in paving roads, not necessarily 100% of the cost, or should not be involved in paving roads and that was the philosophical issue before Council. Divisiveness would come no matter what was done because removing those two words tonight would bring out all those people on the unpaved roads very concerned and disappointed with the City Council and the people who lived on paved roads and paid for them through an S.A.D. would be disappointed and concerned. Either way a group of people would be disappointed who might or might not vote for the road bond because of it. The bigger issue was what the Council’s philosophy was. They either believe in paving roads with City funds or they don’t.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said looking at this when the language was added and approved two weeks ago they would not be totally investing in terms of municipal money in paving the roads. However, it would still present an opportunity through additional funding to perhaps have an arrangement where part of it was an S.A.D., grants or part City funded. If this money was cut out for paving then all Council would have to deal with, if Council believed in paving unpaved roads, was the municipal and local street funds. She thought it gave a broader perspective and range of ways to deal with the situation by leaving it in. It was not a guarantee but would give Council the opportunity to work creatively with the public. The promise of two weeks ago should be kept and she would not vote to change it now.
Member Kramer thought the issue was focus. It took a lot of time to develop policy and philosophy. It would be totally wrong to put a proposition before the voters that was unclear. The reality of this is that because we felt we had to reduce the total on this road bond proposal and because we have not in the process addressed the issue of policy and philosophy for paved roads it would be improper to muddy the bond issue with that subject. For all the effort and focus that had gone into creating this to come up at the last minute and put the word "and" in there would create more concern and more visual response in this road bond proposal than we heard in the last bond proposal. He believed it should not be there. It was not in the capacity of this bond issue to do it. It was not within Council intent of the bond issue to do it and he thought they would reacquire the support of the public by pulling it out. He requested that revision be made.
Mayor Clark said the language had to be ready one way or the other that was final and firm by tomorrow. Mr. Neiman said yes, it had to be certified by the Oakland County Clerk and the language previously certified would have to be withdrawn and tomorrow, August 29th, was the cutoff point.
Member Crawford concurred with four out of five of the comments made by Mr. Helwig, Mayor Clark, Members Csordas, Lorenzo and Kramer. He felt there was mistrust built into this sentence. The Mayor’s comments should be taken very seriously that this Council would commit to whatever they could do to pave the unpaved streets in this City. However, to have that language in the road bond fostered a lot of divisiveness. He felt the proper wording was similar to what they had before and take out the ambiguity and potential for the divisiveness. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo was correct that there would be residents for and against the road bond no matter what was done. He felt the Mayor’s strong statement and Council’s commitment to back that statement at future planning sessions that Council would do whatever was necessary to pave unpaved streets. He said removing the word "and" was what his intent would be.
CM-00-08-278 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Csordas; MOTION FAILED:
That Exhibit B of the Policy Resolution be amended to read $1,080,000 per year for five years of expanded neighborhood pavement resurfacing.
Mr. Klaver noted this dealt with the policy resolution and Council would need to amend the ballot language as well. Mr. Neiman said in anticipation of this possibility for Council’s consideration he had prepared revised language which withdrew two words in Subsection A, which were " and pavement". The old ballot language said under A "expanded program of neighborhood resurfacing and pavement street improvements." It would withdraw the words "and pavement". Therefore, it would read "an expanded program of neighborhood resurfacing street improvements". This would be responsive to Member Crawford’s motion.
Member Bononi wondered if Council was presuming that they want to continue with infrastructure improvement the way they had for the last 20 years. There was more than one question involved here, more than one concern about who got paved, when and who paid for it. She thought if looking at who had benefited from infrastructure improvement in our City for the past 20 years it was not so much who paid for it but that we have paid very dearly to get to where we are this evening. We have folks who believe that keeping some one else out paves the way that they did the right thing. She thought that last November was the answer to all of that and she hoped it would continue. Although, there were many times she did not agree with infrastructure improvements and how they are proposed at this table that there was a lot of good faith and honest effort going on to resolve our problems. Going back to where we were was not going to resolve that and if taking the attitude of closing doors with how that would be done we are closing doors on our own creativity. She felt there was no reason to remove the word from the resolution and would not support the motion.
Member DeRoche thought the philosophy that drove him to support the language as it was currently stated was founded in the fact that Council was asking for an extraordinary amount of trust from our residents. We are saying to our residents "give us $5 million, we do not have a plan on how it will be spent but it would be spent in the neighborhoods. All residents would be taxed for this $5 million proportionately, nobody is excluded from taxation and this would show up in your bill proportionate to your SEV." Accompanying that leap of faith on the residents part the least Council could do was invite the people who are paying the taxes to come down and fight for the money. The biggest issue was asking for the money without a clear plan as to how it would be spent and he thought it was an error to knock some people off for consideration that would be paying the taxes prior to the bond even passing.
Mayor Clark said there should be no question now and he had made it clear that there would be no provision in this bond proposal for unpaved roads and Council was absolutely serious about the commitment made to deal with that issue. We are playing catch up in this community big time and even with $1,080,000 a year extended beyond the five years we would still be playing catch up for a number of years. These problems are not insurmountable and have to be dealt with. There are grant funds and possibilities to explore that have never been explored and we are going after every nickel, dime, dollar, penny and quarter they could find anywhere to deal with these problems. We will find the money that is needed to pave the 13.2 miles that are left in this community.
Mayor Clark said as far as the language that was proposed he did agree with some of the comments. It did call for an act of faith and no matter what they did they would be darned if they do and darned if they don’t but when all was said and done it still went back to an issue of trust. He thought this administration had shown that when they gave their word it was kept and they were committed to solving problems in this community.
Roll call vote on CM-00-08-278 Yeas: Crawford, Csordas, Kramer
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi, DeRoche, Clark
Mayor Clark said the language submitted and certified to the County was the language that Mr. Neiman would be proceeding under.
Mr. Helwig noted he had placed on Council table copies of the Clean Michigan Initiative Grant Application that the City had endorsed being done in partnership with Northville Township regarding the Quail Ridge Drain Improvements. It correctly chronicles the policies that this body had adopted in concert with the joint meeting with members of Northville Township as well as the follow up policy resolution along with other letters of support. The engineers from Northville Township were taking that lead and today was the date for that to be filed. He assured Council this had been prepared in concert with Council’s policy direction and had been filed today under that deadline. There are other application possibilities and they would see how this proceeded.
9. DEPARTMENT REPORTS-Status of Summer 2000 expanded neighborhood street resurfacing – DPS Tony Nowicki
Mr. Nowicki said this was a $2.3 million program and it was their goal to complete the entire program in a month and a half less than what was previously done. The program included Meadowbrook Glens, Willowbrook Subdivision #2, West Ridge Downs, Timber Ridge, Country Place, Vincenti Dr., Villagewood, Cranbrooke and a lot of other small projects. To date approximately 3,100 tons of asphalt had been placed, 12,000 lineal feet of curb and gutter removed and replaced, 15,000 sq. yards of concrete placed and over 72,000 lineal feet of cracks routed and sealed. The contractors are nearing completion and he expected that most all of the concrete and asphalt work would be completed by September 6th with restoration to take approximately two weeks after that. The goals are being met in spite of losing 11 days due to rain and the contractors are right on target with their completion date. He thought that ABC Paving and Six-S Concrete should receive some accolades for the work they had done on completion as they have given a great effort.
10. ATTORNEY - None
Jim Korte, Shawood Lake, commented his four properties had been paying taxes for 84 years. He felt the road bond would break down into the "old boy network" and new Novi and his streets would not be paved. He noted there was Federal money that should have been used years ago. Mr. Korte stated his tax dollars re-paved those lovely subdivisions while his area continued to be an endless pit of gravel.
Mr. Korte, Sarah Gray, 133 Maudlin, Judy Thompson, 327 S. Lake Dr., Chris Czarnecki, Dean Waldrup, 339 S. Lake, commented about excess standing water in the area and a drainage ditch one could canoe on. Mr. Korte had water eight foot over his grass in three spots and stated in essence there was still no building site. In 1997 the D.E.Q. listed the problems and what would have to be done and the newest developer had not researched it. Why wasn’t current information used? What lawsuits would Novi be opened to when this was vacated? There are too many discrepancies with what had been proposed and Council needed to decide if it was one building site or two. If one, there are no flag lots, shared driveways or access via easements. It would be new construction and everything had to be complied with. Maybe the residents should buy the land and maintain it the way it had been for years. Why are people allowed to build in flood plains? Ms. Thompson said her Aunt designated the property line with trees 40 years ago, there are no flowers or driveway on Mr. Baldridge’s property. They maintain the property in the back and stated Mr. Baldridge had never once in 30 years come out and mowed the lawn. The fence went across his property because of her grandchildren and it could be removed easily as it was not permanent. Council was asked not to vacate.
Ms. Gray agreed with a lot of what Mr. Korte said regarding the road bond. However, she would wait for her street to be paved as she wanted the Beck Road Interchange and would fight to get the road bond issue passed. It was the only thing that would relieve traffic on South Lake.
Toni Nagy asked if when talking about the $1.08 million from the road bond for five years was that in addition to the $1.3 million that we have? Council responded it was. She thought the road bond was important to the City and it would be beneficial to the residents of the City to have a plan as to which residential roads were being talked about. She would support the road bond and thanked Mayor Clark for remaining adamant about this.
Charles Thorpe, represented Henry Baldridge regarding the Elm Ct. property. He owned the property in question and has been a taxpayer for 31 years. The property was for sale and he wanted something constructive done with the property. Mr. Thorpe was a developer, a builder and a friend of Mr. Baldridge for twenty plus years and was present because he had some knowledge of the situation. They had previously come before Council and presented certified sealed drawings done by a civil engineer that was legally obligated to give Council correct information. They were asked to show a possible home site and a proper easement. They showed an 18 foot wide private driveway into the property for one home site. They would develop outside the power line situation since it was a question. The topography showed the property’s natural water flow was to the canal that bordered one side and a ditch that had been there for a number of years. It does not flood their homes now and it would not change. He read the letters of concern sent to Council by residents and he addressed some of their concerns. The Baldridge family was using the land. There was concern about trees on his easement and that was because Mr. Baldridge planted them there. Someone had put their driveway on Mr. Baldridge’s property, was 28 feet off his lot line and was using 100 feet of his property. Mr. Baldridge was suffering. They fenced his Walled Lake frontage and then got mad when he put a paint stripe on it to indicate where his land started. They store their docks on his land in the winter, utilize his beach in the summer and they are upset. Of course they don’t want this done. Mr. Thorpe said he had offered the land to residents for $70,000. Would you pay $70,000 for a large piece of land facing two lake frontages and a canal? They would not buy it but were using it for free and one resident wanted to buy a small piece of it, which would make the remainder piece of property of no value.
Diana Canup, 47201 Glamorgan, addressed the pavement of subdivision roads. She agreed all 13 miles of unpaved roads in Novi should be paved. However, she had not heard anyone say that the homeowners could pay for the road paving themselves with their own money instead of tax dollars. She had worked to pass many millages for road bonds because she felt it was necessary that improvements be made for everyone in the community. Ms. Canup said Pioneer Meadows, Echo Valley, Clark Subdivision and Glenda Street all paid for their own roads through an S.A.D. She wanted the road bond to pass for the intersections and major roads in the community but was not willing to pay for residential roads. She would work against the road millage if it included subdivision streets.
Brad Bock, W. Park Dr., addressed the Beck North Corporate Park, which abutted his property with a shared property line of 418 feet. The property on the residential side was at a much higher elevation then the corporate park development and they are required to create a berm 10-15 feet high. Since the residential property was at a higher grade it presented a difficulty to create a berm that would meet the ordinance requirements. They had resolved to move the toe of the berm well into the industrial property and probably 30-40 feet from the residential/industrial property line, which was not achieving what the ordinance called for. It did not protect the residential side because they measured the berm from the industrial side at between 7 and 11 feet but on the residential side the berm would be only 2 or 3 feet plus the height of plantings. If that was all the berm there was it would not present any audio protection or screening and would strictly be visual. He asked Council to come out and look at the property and examine what more needed to be done to protect the residential side.
Jorg Linke, 25896 Clark, a paid on call fire fighter, had heard about the fire proposal and had questions regarding it. He asked if it was a new tax being proposed, not a bond, which meant that it would go on indefinitely. What about the old bond that was supposed to build new stations and a training center? How many ALS units would there be in the City and how would they pay for additional costs created by these ALS units because the proposal only covered the basic personnel costs? He had tried to get information from the ALS provider in the City but they were told by City administration not to give out any information. ALS units currently go to Providence Hospital and can not be turned down because they are basic life support not advanced life support. What happens if the hospital was closed to them for whatever reasons? They might have to go down town which referred back to how many units were in town and how would the rest be covered.
Mr. Linke had received a quote from another ALS provider, which was substantially less than what was proposed in the tax addendum to cover the City of Novi. A dedicated car could be in Novi for much less money.
Michael and Walter Rosinski, 24614 Taft Road, were present regarding a drainage complaint. In 1995 there was a house built just south of his father, Walter, and immediately five ¾ acre lots were put under water. Over the years about ½ million yards of fill to the north had been put in. Six studies had been done by JCK and they had been out there eight times. The City was tied up in court for two years because someone neglected to get a drainage easement. The house was sold, the people showed up to cut the easement, the police were called and that was it. The easement was never established and they had been under water since 1995. It was not ponding it was massive flooding. He had pictures and videotape for Council to look at. JCK, six engineers, six plans over five years and not one shovel of dirt had been moved. He did not understand and invited Council to look in his backyard and see the quality of life they have. The City took away their whole yard and the City would not even clean the ditch. Why? What did they do to anybody? After 40 years of paying taxes this was the treatment they got. The City said the elevations did not change and that was not true; they filled in both ends. Theirs had not changed because the City would not let them fill it in. The Health Department had been out and could not understand why final grade approval was given because it was never graded so how could Council approve it? They are under water completely.
JCK’s report from 1995 said that swale would only give relief before the water came into the house. What is that? All these papers are over a ditch. It was not an easement it was a ditch about 2 feet wide and 20 feet long. He passed out and explained the pictures. Someone said before if you get 4 inches of rain there would be a big pond there but two days later it would be gone. This water had been there since 1995 because it could not get out.
He asked why they should have to pay any kind of special assessment? The City had the easement and the court papers state clearly that the easement was to allow the surface water from Lot 16 to drain. It can’t. Someone mentioned that the septic field failed and an engineered field was put in and it raised the property another four feet and they tried to blame this problem on that. In 1995 JCK did the study and said it had nothing to do with it. In 1999 a City Official brought it up again and again in 2000. Mr. Rosinski said his parents offered to give their property to the City for free if they would help them out in 1995. The City engineers put in ditches, catch basins and put them in too high. There has been a long history of flooding problems. The City wanted them to pay a special fee and he wanted to know for what? He crawled under their crawlspace because their foundation was flooded now. He asked that a crew be sent out to get it running. Finally, this month JCK said they should shoot the grades out of there and see if that would work. He did not know what an SAD was needed for. The ditch was put in to high and it blocked the outflow. Why does Mr. Rosinski have to pay for it?
Mayor Clark asked that Mr. Helwig follow up on this and report back to Council at the next meeting. He said he would. Mayor Clark asked Mr. Rosinski to be present. Mr. Rosinski said this had gone on for five years and asked Council to look at the tape.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Bononi removed Item N.
CM-00-08-279 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Items A-M and Item O.
Roll call vote on CM-00-08-279 Yeas: Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,
A. Approve Minutes of:
1. August 5, 2000, Special Meeting
2. August 14, 2000, Regular Meeting
Schedule an Executive Session immediately following the meeting Re: Pending Litigation.
Approval of Ordinance 2000-109.1-An ordinance to amend Sections 19-21 and 19-22 of the Novi Code of Ordinances to increase the number of Library Board Directors and to reduce the terms of their service-2nd Reading & Adoption.
Approval of Taxi Cab Company license with fifteen cabs-ABC Cab Company.
Adoption of Resolution to establish a $600 franchise application fee for electric utility providers.
Approval of Resolution supporting the Novi high School Homecoming parade as required by the Road Commission for Oakland County annual permit for use of roadways under their jurisdiction.
Approval of License Agreement – Tollgate Woods Entryway Sign
Acceptance of streets and utilities in Broadmoor Park Subdivision Nos. 2 & 3 and adoption of New Street Acceptance Resolution.
Approval of renewal of Michigan Municipal Liability and Property Pool Insurance in the amount of $321,018.
Approval of revision of Articles of Incorporation – Building Authority/Change of Membership.
Award bid for Non-Linear Editor to B & H Photo, the low bidder, in the amount of $7,995. (Community Relations)
Award bid for one (1) auto fryer to Auto Fry Sales, in the amount of $6,775 and one (1) frozen carbonated beverage freezer from Taylor Freezer in the amount of $9,725. (Ice Arena)
Award bid for the purchase of 24 Dell Computers to Dell Direct, the low quotation, in the amount of $34,000 (Police Department)
O. Approval of Claims and Accounts: Warrant No. 578
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
10.Consideration of resolution vacating a portion of Elm Court.
CM-00-08-280 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To postpone the consideration of Resolution vacating a portion of Elm Court until the Regular meeting of September 11th.
Member DeRoche noted he would like to hear from administration a little more objective evaluation. There had been good points brought forward that they would not be prepared to provide Council with that information tonight. In fairness to the property owner it would make sense to allow Council time to get the information to make a fully educated decision on this.
Member Bononi asked if Mr. Helwig concurred. He said he did.
Mayor Clark asked if there was any specific item or direction Member DeRoche would like responded to by administration?
Member DeRoche said a couple of specifics as to our ordinances and how they pertain to what our engineers would make available to them to address drainage issues and to actually make the lot buildable. Also, that the administration comment on the trespassing and use of property as it pertains to legal property owner rights as well and whether or not Council should factor that into their decision or not.
Mr. Helwig noted that Council was seeking not quite a recommendation from the administration but some greater clarity and a stronger feeling.
Member DeRoche wanted to be sure that some of these things that are being thrown out with a lot of passion are evaluated more objectively by the administration.
Member Csordas supported the motion but would like to see factual sealed documents so Council would know where the property lines were, if neighbors had encroached on the owners property and if there was a fence on his property that should not be there.
Member Lorenzo was interested in wetland and flood plain boundaries.
Mayor Clark requested this matter be Item #1 under Matters for Council Action - Part I.
Roll call vote on CM-00-08-280 Yeas: Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark,
2. Authorize Administration to prepare an agreement with Secrest, Wardle, Lynch, Hampton,
Truex and Morley, P.C. to serve as City Attorney (excluding prosecuting attorney, labor
attorney and bond counsel services) for the City of Novi.
CM-00-08-281 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION CARRIED:
To authorize administration to prepare an agreement with Secrest,
Wardle, Lynch, Hampton, Truex and Morley, P.C. to serve as City
Attorney (excluding prosecuting attorney, labor attorney and bond
counsel services) for the City of Novi.
Member Csordas noted he did not see any comments in the packet from department heads regarding their relationships with our current City Attorneys and asked if they had considered any evaluations from department heads? Member Csordas personally believed in long term relationships and value history and knowledge of the City and wanted to make sure everything was going right here. He said the expenditure was $325,000 for our current services and the 2000 budget was $375,000 and the proposed fee from Secrest, Wardle, etc. was $393,000 which was a 22% increase over the budget. He asked where that would come from? He thought the final two applicants would be brought forward and Council would decide on this after interviewing the two finalists. He requested a spreadsheet comparing services, time allotted, hourly fees and forecasted annual expense for each of the final applicants so Council could do a comparison. His hope was that the two final companies would be brought to meet with City Council to talk with both applicants.
Member DeRoche said the Consultants Review Committee was charged with going out and competitively bidding for City Attorney services and they undertook this process. They underwent a Request for Qualifications process followed by a Request for Proposal. They thought it would be best to first evaluate the qualifications of the firms and they looked at legal services as not a commodity that could be evaluated on price. There are significant exposures in this City and they felt that the representations that we get and the performance that we have in the Court room might exponentially be affected the actual outcome of the exposure to the City as opposed to the fees that we charge them. They first wanted to work with qualifications and got it down to two firms they wanted to interview. Interestingly enough our incumbent City Attorney Fried, Watson and Bugbee did not apply to be considered in our current present forum. So the committee was charged with evaluating proposals that they thought were qualified from a combination of Cooper, Gabe, Shiftman, Quinn and Seymour with Fried Watson and Bugbee and the other was Secrest, Wardle, Lynch, Hampton, Truex and Morley.
The incumbent firm was evaluated based on their performance, as they are every year. They met with departments heads, planning commission and bring in specific people from the administration that have specific things to inform us of. They received verbal and written reports from Mr. Nowicki, Mr. Klaver, Ms. Conley and Mr. Helwig evaluating past performance. However, they were charged with going out into the marketplace and come back and recommend what would be best to go forward in the future.
They were looking for ways to change the ways the City handled its legal exposures for the better. They heard from both proposals that they had ideas and made their plans clear and specific to the committee as to what to evaluate. When they were done with the process it was very clear that they would recommend the Secrest, Wardlel law firm to the City and were very excited about the opportunity that they would give the City. The senior partner that would be the City Attorney had extraordinary experience and reputation and offered experiences that would be beneficial to the City. They have a large staff of specialists in areas where this City often has very unique exposures and litigation, which would be a great asset. They also talked about working out of the City Offices two days a week. Administration was already thinking about what the difference would be in having a staff attorney and using outside counsel. In what cases should we go out and get specialists.
Member DeRoche said they would recommend that the prosecuting attorney services stay with Cooper, Gabe, Shiftman, Quinn and Seymour and that labor attorney and bond counsel services also remain separated out of City Attorney services. In the future they would be seeing administration and the attorneys working hand in hand to find the best expert possible to defend the City.
Regarding the expenditure for $393,000 based on the proposal from Secrest Wardle the proposals were comparable in their rates. They did negotiate about $45,000 off the projected rates with Secrest Wardle. They saw during discussions with Secrest Wardle opportunities where they would be able to reign in some of the costs. One opportunity was to shift from a retainer basis to an hourly basis. They thought there would be better control this way. Last year the average hourly billing for litigation and retainer approximated 283 hours. It works out to 7 attorneys working 40 hours a week all year long for the City as far as billable hours go. They thought by switching to an hourly basis administration would be able to track those hours and control them. They also saw, by their willingness to provide a staff attorney two days a week, as an opportunity to control the costs below their $393,000 projection. Lawyers often have a minimum billing of ¼ of an hour so any phone call you make or any fax that they review they bill for 15-minute increments. By having a staff attorney they had agreed to bill for 8 hours so administration would stack up some of the work for those two days and see how much they can accomplish in those two days that they are at City Hall.
Mayor Clark said Member DeRoche was recommending that an agreement be prepared with Secrest Wardle and asked if there was a time frame known as an escape clause? Member DeRoche said he would defer to Mayor Clark’s expertise and would agree that it would be prudent to have an escape clause. Secrest and Wardle would not be at the next meeting after Council did this. There was a significant load of work that was being handled by the incumbent City Attorney and if Council proceeded with this the City Attorney was committed to work with the new City Attorney. That transition could take upwards of 90 days.
Mr. Helwig said if Council gave direction regarding a termination clause, they were prepared to discuss this with Mr. Fisher next week and thought they would ask for transition to be complete in 90 to 120 days. Mr. Helwig said they had conveyed 30-45 days to Mr. Watson and Mr. Fisher. Mr. Watson indicated they would do whatever was in the best interests of the community after sorting through all that was out there.
Roll call vote on CM-00-08-281 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Crawford
3. Continuation of discussion Re: appointments to Planning Commission.
Mayor Clark noted he and Council had not reached consensus and therefore directed the City Clerk’s Office to immediately re-advertise for applicants for appointment to the Planning Commission. He also directed that the open period for applications be 30 days after which Council would schedule a special meeting to interview the applicants.
Mayor Clark had received a memo from the City Clerk that Cable Commission and Beautification Committee positions had not been filled and Council might want to re-advertise for those as well and interview them at the same time.
Member Crawford asked why more applications were being sought when there were three or four well-qualified applicants who had not been offered in nomination? Also, he thought that a notification of re-interviews or re-applications would be a Council directive by motion and majority vote rather than the Mayor’s direction.
Mr. Watson said the directive to re-advertise for more applicants was a Council action.
Mayor Clark stated under the Charter it was his responsibility to put names forward, which he had done, and there had been no consensus or majority and therefore the alternative was to re-advertise for new applicants.
Member Crawford noted his question was did he intend to put the four remaining names into nomination at any point in time? There are applicants that had not been brought forward.
Mayor Clark noted he had said earlier that no one was being eliminated. If re-advertised and additional applicants come in those persons in addition, depending on how recently some people applied, were certainly free to be interviewed again and considered in the process. He asked if there was a motion to re-advertise?
CM-00-08-282 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION FAILED:
To direct the City Clerk to re-advertise for Planning Commission
applicants and for all other boards.
Roll call vote on CM-00-08-282 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi
Nays: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Crawford
4. Adoption of Ordinance No. 2000-16.05- to delete Section 35-17 from the Novi Code of
Ordinances and to amend Section 35-51 of said code, to eliminate the regulation of
taxicab rates of fare by the City of Novi-1st Reading.
CM-00-08-283 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To adopt Ordinance No. 2000-16.05 to delete Section 35-17 from the
Novi Code of Ordinances and to amend Section 35-51 of said code, to
Eliminate the regulation of taxicab rates of fare by the City of Novi – 1st
Roll call vote on CM-00-08-283 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Crawford,
5. Request for approval of Conservation and Preservation Easement for Regency Commerce
CM-00-08-284 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the request for approval of Conservation and Preservation
Easement for Regency Commerce Centre.
Roll Call vote on CM-00-08-284 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas,
6. Consideration of Property Acquisition from Norman Steel Inc. as proposed site for
fire station #4.
Mr. Klaver noted when they first started working on the site design for this property and project there were two challenges. One was the road access and the utilities. The utilities are not at this location so they were going to temporarily go with a well and septic. However, that became problematic trying to balance the buffer zones and the separation of the septic and well. The ultimate solution to that would be the extension of utilities through the Island Lake project. Conceptual agreement had been reached with the developers of that property and they would be extending the utilities.
The remaining issue now was the access. It was determined that the best solution was to have an offset where the vehicles exiting the station onto Ten Mile would need to jog to go Wixom Road north. They looked at the concept of having that line up directly which was what led them to the acquisition of the property. It was necessary to acquire the entire upland area which was surrounded by a wetland which landlocked it. They were considering the possibly of paying for this out of road funds but when looking at the wetland it was clear that it would never be extended. They had concluded they would pay for the acquisition of the property out of the road bond proceeds that had been set aside for the project. The appraisal was for $140,000 and normally when an appraisal was done it was with the understanding that the appraised value established the good faith offer that they were asking authorization for. The appraisal needed to be updated because it was about a year old and that update indicated that due to rising property values and comparables it was justified.
CM-00-08-285 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Kramer; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
Approval to obtain a second appraisal and then proceed with a good faith offer on the proposed site for Fire Station #4.
Member Csordas asked why there weren’t opinions from two appraisers in the packet?
Mr. Klaver noted that issue was raised and the decision and recommendation was made to get two appraisals. However, it was specifically phrased on the project going forward because of the history of the negotiations with the property owners and the fact that they had the appraisal and were ready to go. They made the distinction that on projects going forward they would get the second appraisal but on this particular project they would proceed.
Member Csordas said there had been ugly situations regarding this and to avoid that in the future they should start now and he would not support the motion without a second appraisal.
Member Crawford concurred and stated it would have no bearing on his motion because it was to make a good faith offer and if Council felt two or three appraisals were needed to do that then so be it.
Mr. Klaver noted their recommendation would be to make the appraisal and then make the good faith offer because the appraisal was the basis for the offer.
Member Csordas asked Fire Chief Lenaghan if he thought the investment over and above the original proposal to get this property to avoid that jog off was critical? Mr. Lenaghan said yes it was needed for the project.
Mr. Helwig thanked Council for following through on two appraisals and suggested the spirit of the motion was to get the second appraisal, average the two and make a good faith offer. They were trying to complete the Fire Station next summer. The utilities would be down to the site by the end of January 2001. He hoped to bring back the design and bid package to Council this year to get this moving.
Roll call vote on CM-00-08-285 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Crawford,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
7. Approval of request from N & Y Properties and Triangle Development Company for
Preliminary Site Plan with regard to their proposal to amend the Consent Judgment for
property located at the northwest corner of Meadowbrook and Grand River Avenue.
Matt Quinn, representing N & Y Properties and Triangle Development, was present to ask approval for the City Attorney to start the compilation of a Consent Judgment based on the preliminary site plan. This had been submitted to Council and reviewed by the City consultants and staff.
Mr. Quinn noted they came before Council in January 2000 with a conceptual review. The property was currently covered by a Consent Judgment and it with another property owner allowed 119,000 square feet of commercial development to be constructed there. There would be about eight independent free standing buildings and the project was approved by City Council about ten years ago, never developed and had been vacant since then.
Mr. Quinn said originally when the Gateway Village proposal came in there was 196 for purchase condominium units proposed. There was also 34,000 square feet of commercial space on that corner and at that time the City Council generally supported the concept but wanted the magnitude of the commercial reduced and to become less competitive with the downtown area. City Council also requested they consider a reduction in the number of residential units. In February 2000 they returned to Council with a conceptual review. Commercial had been reduced to 31,000 square feet, the buildings reduced from 4 to 3, reduced the condominium units to 184 and the open space increased to 27%. The site was 15 acres of land. At that meeting they talked about the need to increase the open space. They told Council that the market forecast that was done said that these condominiums would more than likely be used by senior citizens and single professionals. The wetland issue was raised and it said that the conceptual approval was granted subject to wetlands issues and further commercial being addressed.
They returned to Council in April 2000 for another conceptual review and had further decreased the commercial to 25,000 square feet. The condominium units remained the same at 184 and the developer increased the open space to 36.6%.
The wetlands were refined and Council had comments on the commercial architecture of the commercial buildings and it was again reviewed and approved and Council again approved the concept with those changes unanimously. At that time Council asked them to prepare a preliminary site plan which they did to be submitted to the City consultants who would report back to Council.
This project was different because they were talking about a Consent Judgment parcel and about comparing it to a non-existent ordinance; the downtown Gateway Ordinance which had been proposed and approved by the Planning Commission but had not come before Council. The consultants had the task of comparing it to a non-existing ordinance and then comparing it to the NCC Ordinance that was defeated in Court taking this back ten years when it was determined that that ordinance was not practical to develop this parcel. Everyone was in a quandary on how to review this preliminary site plan. However, as the background they had Council’s conceptual approvals on different occasions as to the general overall scheme as to how the development would come out, how many units would be approved and the only two things were minor traffic issues regarding entry and the wetlands issue. Most of these issues if not all have been resolved. The density was now static. They met with Mr. Arroyo last week to understand his comments on his letter and it was agreed that in the Consent Judgment they would agree to 60% two bedroom units and 40% three bedroom units. That got them within the five rooms of the required density under the imaginary downtown Gateway Ordinance and they are under the unit density on the overall acreage. The density on the Gateway was 13.58, which was what they proposed, and the Gateway Ordinance required a density of 13.75 units per acre. They were proposing 626 rooms and allowed by the draft Gateway 621.
They worked very hard on the wetlands and got down to coming within .13 acres of a 1 to 1 ratio that was a little more than 7% light on the actual wetlands. The area of wetlands was substantially improved, it would be cleaned out and dead trees removed, it would be upgraded and would have viewing areas with a boardwalk. The overall enhancement would add to the quality of the wetland as an active wetland and a place for habitat to live. He thought Council would grant the approval for that to continue to be approved. Then they would ask Council to approve a motion asking the City Attorney to begin drafting a Consent Judgment using the Preliminary Site Plan as a basis along with the consultant’s letters. Then it would be entered into the Court and as they are acting on this the consultants would go through the final site plan and the construction permits would begin later this year.
Gary Wilson, McKenna and Associates had worked on the team to come up with the site plan for the site. He said they were five over on the room count and offered clarification. While they were five over on the room count there was an option on the ground floor unit for a basement and the basement would be more than half full of grade in which case it wouldn’t count. It was reasonable that at least five of these units would select the option of a basement so that basement would not count as a room. Therefore, they felt that they complied with the room count issue.
He addressed other issues raised in the review and noted many could be resolved in final site plan review. The dumpster location issue raised for example. One issue they wanted to address and be sure that Council was comfortable with at this stage because it related to the overall layout and it was the same layout Council saw at conceptual review with the exception of some tweaking of the location of driveways. One of the issues of importance was the building separation. There are a couple of points where in the draft Gateway a building separation as specified that they did not comply with. Those are points where the odd angle of the layout of the buildings we come closer than what was recommended by the Gateway Ordinance. They would like a variance from that and were trying to break the mold somewhat in this project. Ironically, if they were to join the buildings they would comply but they were trying to limit the number of units connected so that the building mass would be broken up. They used the layout to frame the central open green and the separation was important to the layout of the project. They felt they complied with the density of the parking and some of the other minor circulation points that had been raised could be addressed in final review.
One final point, a specification on the roads, where they have provided a street with two lanes of movement and parking on both sides they had gone with a 35 foot width. There was one exception to that raised by the planner regarding one 24-foot wide lane and parking on one side. They felt it was sufficient and reasonable because it was a restricted flow area and it allowed them to come into closer compliance with wetland preservation and maintain the setback needed in the back.
There was also a minor issue regarding the setbacks. It was also in comparison from the draft Gateway Ordinance that had a maximum setback. In this case the setback from the drugstore was 135 feet and the maximum specified in the Draft Gateway was 130 feet. The intent of that was to avoid large parking lots in the front and to have a closer orientation of the buildings to the road and architecture that went along with that. In this one case they had provided two rows of parking and in the other instances of the commercial buildings there was only one row which did comply with the Gateway. It could be changed but it also gave a variety of setbacks in the front that breaks it up.
The drugstore also has a driveway that was not a drive through facility. The intent of the Gateway was to have a pedestrian oriented project and for the most part they accomplished that.
Brooks Williamson, Wetland Consultant, noted they worked with Jim Ludwig on this mitigation restoration type plan for the project. It was a relatively tight site and in dealing with JCK and Ms. Kay they attempted to provide as much mitigation of this wetland as possible. The total wetland on the site was 1.67 acres and this proposal dealt with filling 4/10th of an acre. There is a northern mitigation area, a pocket on the east side along the entry drive and a little off on the west side where material could be pulled out and replaced as much as possible. The intent of the plan was to provide additional wetland areas as much as possible in this vicinity and at the same time remove some of the less desirable vegetation and replace it with higher quality vegetation and attempt to increase the diversity as much as possible.
They believed the plan would provide for equal or better benefit of the original wetland on the site. The one draw back they had was that they were shy on the one to one replacements. However, given the Consent Agreement and the developers desire to work this into the proposed Gateway Ordinance and desires of the City they were trying to set the stage to have this mitigation plan suffice for the entire project.
Mark Farlo, architect and senior associate with Victor Saroki & Assoc., drew to Council’s attention a front façade scheme for the corner building, eastern most building on the site. He said the City architectural consultants suggested there be a bit more presence to the corner most element of the building and they were happy to do so. The corner piece of the building had increased in its height to over 44 feet and was articulated with a crown molding that wrapped around the entire perimeter of the square unit. Raised above that was a pre-finished metal roof in a hip roof shape completed with a small decorative finial together with a clock facing south and east above the double bank of windows. They believed this enhanced the project and was borne out when seeing how the facades related to the west and north facades.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo commented on the draft Gateway Ordinance. She said there was no Gateway Ordinance and was concerned that the consultants were asking the applicant to comply with an ordinance that did not exist. She would appreciate it if they would stop referring to the Gateway Ordinance from here on out because there was no ordinance. Regarding the NCC and how we got to the Consent Judgment was another story with regard to pure commercial on this corner and did not have this type mixed use hybrid tone to it. She did not feel that Court case in that sense related to this issue either.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo noted a memo from Aimee Kay of JCK, indicated under comments that "the elimination of two southern units from building #1 would provide a solution to the deficit of the net loss of 1.013 acres of overall wetland." She asked why there was still a deficit?
Ms. Kay commented they did lose two units from what they originally had on this side. She was suggesting that they lose two more and that would eliminate the impact because per the ordinance there had to be a one to one ratio. The area for these two buildings plus the area that they would need for accessing the garage in the back could be used for mitigation and would make up the deficit. The units they lost were not the units she was referring to in the memo.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked, with regard to the NCC zone, how much of the density or units are they over in this proposed development with regard to multiple family?
Mr. Arroyo said they needed to comply with whatever the Council thought was appropriate because this was a Consent Judgment. Looking at the NCC Ordinance density was primarily controlled by number of rooms. If under an NCC proposal only 295 rooms would be allowed versus the 626 that they had proposed.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked how many rooms would be lost if they removed two units from building #1? Mr. Arroyo said 5 or 6 depending whether it was a two or three bedroom unit. She said this was better then the last time it was here. Obviously, the density was tremendously exceeded but she would be willing to approve this subject to the removal of the two units on building #1 so there would be no wetland loss deficit in terms of not being mitigated. The Council was being very generous to the applicant allowing what she considered real excess in density. The only reason she would consider it was that it was a Consent Judgment. She made it clear she was not supportive of this type of density along Grand River or anywhere else but would support this subject to the change in density she requested.
Member Crawford thought it was a great project and a fantastic gateway to our City. They virtually complied with every request over the last several months. He commended the consultants and staff for comparing this with the Gateway Ordinance because it was something that would probably happen close to the form that now exists in the draft. There was a comparison to what could be there and this is 1000% better than what that Consent Judgment would allow. He did not care if there was more density, there were also 3 or 4 times as much commercial allowed in that Consent Judgment than is now presented in this plan. The wetlands would be greatly enhanced with viewing areas for people and better habitat for wildlife. He was not particularly concerned with gaining or losing a couple more units to comply strictly with the wetlands ordinance. This project far enhances the wetlands for anyone’s use. He would support this as presented tonight.
Member Csordas concurred it was a much better option then the Consent Judgment.
CM-00-08-286 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Crawford; MOTION CARRIED:
To approve the request from N & Y Properties and Triangle Development
Company for Preliminary Site Plan with regard to their proposal to amend the Consent Judgement for Property located at the northwest corner of Meadowbrook and Grand River Avenue subject to working out the traffic and building setback issues as laid out by the Planning Consultant.
Member Kramer asked if drive-through windows were for commercial applications and banks? Mr. Arroyo said that was correct and they had discussed this with the applicant and they indicated that they would agree to limit this to a drugstore drive through which would have less of an impact.
Member Kramer wanted to incorporate this in the motion because the applicant presented this as drug store or a bank. He asked what the posture was in NCC and conceptual Gateway District on traditional drive through designs? Mr. Arroyo said NCC and the proposed Gateway did not permit drive through. Member Kramer commented he recognized the drugstore window that tended to support a 24 hour operation as beneficial for health, safety and welfare of the community and the ability to get prescriptions during off hours. Mr. Arroyo said that was consistent to their observations as well. There was a traffic issue pointed out in their review related to the drive through they thought was important. The issue related to the proposed easterly drive and in order for this entire operation to function properly they believed there were a couple of changes that could be accommodated in this plan with minor modifications. If Council chose to agree to the drugstore drive-through he believed the pad site should operate in a one way flow. He would like to see angle parking on the north side, that it be a one way operation with an isle and would serve the drugstore drive-through. They had a related comment that had to do with the design of this particular driveway and the fact that once you enter you have four choices of direction to go. They thought it should be closed off and a drive connection made and the pad site shifted over and parking spaces moved. This would provide a good circulation system for the drive-through and eliminate a potential difficult situation at the drive and requested these comments be incorporated into any approved site plan.
Member Kramer asked the applicant how they would deal with this recommendation?
Mr. Quinn said this could be worked out before final and they were willing to do that.
Member Kramer requested that "subject to working out the traffic and building setback issues as laid out by the Planning Consultant" be added to the motion. He would support the motion.
Member Bononi noted the last time they were before Council she had asked for a schedule of proposed uses by type and square feet. She asked Mr. Farlo if he could provide this information? Mr. Farlo recalled that question but did not have anything firm yet because they did not have any commitments to any of the tenancy for the small but significant amount of commercial spaces they had. The intended uses for all of these commercial spaces would be consistent with the letter of the ordinance. They were not interested in providing any predatory commercial business here against the Main Street as well. He stated this was a small community and they were talking about "Mom and Pop" sized spaces for the most part. Member Bononi was disappointed the information was not provided. Mr. Watson advised Council that because this was a Consent Judgment they could ask for that information to be provided and as such those uses would run concurrent with his approval.
Mr. Watson noted that was correct and Council had the ability to do that as a part of this.
Mr. Farlo stated Mr. Nona, President of N & Y Properties had indicated to him that what they were asking for was permission to include all of the permitted uses that are covered under the ordinance.
Member Bononi said that was a substantial change from their position the first time around and she had a problem with that. She said they had a great deal of discussion with regard to what those uses would be and the trade off between those uses and the other plans they had for the rest of the project. She would still look for that.
Member Bononi asked if the architectural style, i.e., the elevations changed? Mr. Farlo said they had not. She thought the elevations in this plan were substantially different and asked if he had an elevation with them tonight? Mr. Farlo said he did and the drawings might physically appear different because they offered more information about the architecture as it related to the residential units then they had previously. Previously they illustrated only front facades for the most part. In the plates Council had before them they illustrated the side and rear facades so that Council would have a total appreciation of the architecture. She asked for larger scale elevations so Council would know what they were approving if they approved? Mr. Farlo said he did not have them with him but would draw to their attention one typical instance. He showed the drawing of the ten-unit elevation study that Council had seen. In addition to the front to side they had a projection of a typical side façade which showed the building relative to the prevailing grade along the front entrance and as it tapered down to the rear façade where the vehicles would enter the structure. That view was prepared for Council above the front façade so the rear façade began to show the disposition of the garage doors for each of the units and the bedroom and living room windows. There was one special unit that was entirely new and was the unit located in building #18 which had been reduced in size to allow for a larger area for site concerns and also created an opportunity to do something more special. It only had four condominiums under one roof and provided an opportunity to do something more remarkable. To that end they proposed a symmetrical façade that had a large gable entrance flanked by one pair of dormers all of which was topped with a cupola structure. The
rear façade showed the entrances of the vehicles into the units had a similar gable end mass articulated by grouped double hung windows culminated with a cupola. The plate before Council was entirely new.
Member Bononi asked if the primary building material was brick? Mr. Farlo said brick and decorative wood siding and asphalt shingles. Brick was the greater of the two. Member Bononi asked what pergolas or trellises were for? Mr. Farlo said they gave an opportunity to express a pedestrian scale of architectural expression. The pergolas or trellises could have any number of accoutrements hanging from them; i.e. flags or banners for holidays. More importantly a device used to create a sense of shade and give pedestrians a place to pause when are moving between the residential and commercial.
Member Bononi asked why there are overhead or pull down doors on the corner retail south and east? Mr. Farlo explained they are aluminum sash and glass windows. The units on the opposite end do not have windows they are inset brick that appears to create a sense of shadow and articulation.
Member Bononi questioned the building uses. She stated that the information that Council had asked for is not being presented regarding the intended uses. Secondarily she does not want intrusion into the wetlands. She would agree to approve the plans if the wetland boundary is respected with the removal of two units and the square footage requirements, by type, are adhered to.
Mayor Clark stated overall this project is much improved over what they had first seen, even though there may be a portion of this plan that each Council member does not like. The project presented to them currently is an asset to the community compared to what the consent judgment decreed. The consent judgment provided for more commercial buildings. His only concern is the drive through window on the drug store, which he would like to see eliminated. He feels it is an invitation to pull more traffic from Meadowbrook Road or Grand River Avenue. He asked if the architect’s statement that there is more brick than wood is correct? Mr. Farlo stated it is correct. The Mayor stated he could support this plan.
Council Member Crawford asked for a clarification on Member Bononi’s question about complying with the Ordinance for uses that is in effect currently. His assumption is they are complying with the proposed Gateway Ordinance. Mr. Farlo answered that is correct, he is prepared to read the list of uses from the NCC Ordinance. This will be contained in the consent judgment, which Council will see and approve. Member Crawford stated he was satisfied with this. Mr. Farlo stated the owner is still looking for Council to approve a drug store or bank with a drive-through window, this will be a later date though.
Mr. Watson stated what Council wants in the Consent Judgment is what Council finds acceptable to go on this site. Council can request the uses be listed use by use, and define the parameters for final approval in the Consent Judgment.
Mayor Clark stated they are only giving them the green light to draft the Consent Judgment.
Member Bononi wanted to clarify the Consent Judgement is what Council says it is. She does not think that is what they are hearing. She is hearing that people are going to read off a list under a Zoning Ordinance that does not exist legally. She is not yet willing to accept all of the uses listed.
Mayor Clark understands what is being proposed is Mr. Watson will work with the representatives of the project and Mr. Quinn and draft a proposed modified Consent Agreement that will be brought back to Council for fine-tuning.
Member Bononi asked for the Council Minutes where the uses were discussed in detail.
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo feels strongly about the non-compliance issue with wetlands. She hopes that Council will think twice about non-compliance with an ordinance.
CM-00-08-287 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION FAILED:
To amend the motion that Council requires compliance with the Wetland Ordinance and per the Wetland Consultants recommendation, require the removal of the two end units from Unit number One in order to comply with the Ordinance.
Member Bononi asked the applicant if they are willing to follow the amendment? Mr. Nona has been very steadfast on the number of 184 Units and can not be modified. The way the buildings are constructed, you cannot just remove two units; you actually lose more by the removal. They believe getting it down to .13 is the very best that can be done with the limited site. He also reminded Council the wetland did not exist ten years ago; it is created by the drainage from the Country Epicure parking lot. The final answer is the number of units cannot be reduced any further.
Roll call vote on Amendment toCM-00-08-287 Yeas: Lorenzo, Bononi,
Nays: Clark, Crawford, Csordas,
DeRoche, and Kramer
Roll call vote on CM-00-08-286 Yeas: Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
8. Request to approve Landscape Waiver for berm along easterly property line of Beck
North Corporate Site condominium SP00-13, located in Section 4, east of Beck and north of West Roads, zoned Light Industrial District (I-1).
Mr. Quinn appeared before Council on behalf of the Northern Equities Group. They are present to discuss the Beck North Corporate Park and the property that exists between the park and a residential development to the east.
There is a fifty-foot swath of property, lying between the industrial park and the residential park to the east, which the City has asked be donated for a habitat corridor. Ms. Lemke, Northern Equities, and the property owners have been meeting to discuss the screening of the industrial park from the residential developments. The problem is coupled with the residential property sitting on a hill and the industrial property is at the bottom of that hill. The question is what effect the berm has in a flat area when you have a hill adjacent to it, when the residents will see over the berm? The situation is further complicated with pockets of high quality trees, thirty-six, and forty-inch Oak trees the City wants to preserve. Northern Equities has agreed to construct the berm on the City property. The berm on the light industrial side can be built on a three on one slope because there is sufficient room for the run off. There will also be the six-foot flat top on this berm. The next problem is how far can you build a berm that will run into the hill on the residential side. They are proposing the slope be on a two to one basis. This slope would be natural wild flowers, and natural grass. Also the berming on the light industrial side will be seeded with natural grass and not irrigated. The City does not want to have to maintain this natural area; it will be left in as natural state as possible. On the top there will be additional plantings, as required by Ms. Lemke, of basic types of trees, such as evergreens, that will add density. The berm on the residential side is cut around the stands of natural trees that they are looking at preserving for the City. The variances being requested from the Design and Construction Standards are for the slope requirements of two to one on the residential side, a deviation of a maximum of ten foot-height through out the area and a variance from irrigation and sodding on the entire berm on both sides.
Ms. Lemke summarized in her August 21st letter the requirements were stated and the actions taken to date on the berm. The Planning Commission approved the plans on April 19th with the conditions that the berm and landscaping come back to them for the waiver at final submittal. The berm height can be waived if there are existing or regulated woodland or vegetation on this site. Council has three items to look at. One is approval to place a berm on City owned property, the next is to waive the three to one berm slope requirements for a two to one slope on the east side of the berm. Allowing the two to one slope it allows a taller berm and the existing woodlands to be preserved. Also proposed is a natural planting on both the three to one slope, and the two to one slope of wild flowers and natural grasses, instead of the Ordinance requirements of sod and irrigation. She feels that the plans submitted to Council are the best compromise and recommends approval.
Member Csordas asked if these were three options presented to Council, if so what does she prefer. Ms. Lemke stated they are three items that need to be acted on.
CM-00-09-288 Moved by Csordas, seconded by
To accept the three variances as stated.
Member Bononi asked what does this do for the gentlemen at the higher elevation, no screening is provided for him? Ms. Lemke responded the only thing that can be done creating a slightly higher berm, and additional evergreen trees or height of the trees. Her second question is who would maintain the berm being constructed on the City owned property. Ms. Lemke stated the City would be responsible. Member Bononi asked why would the City want to do that. Ms. Lemke explained that is the logic behind the more natural plantings and format than a manicured berm. After it is established it will maintain itself. The developer will be responsible during the two-year warranty period. Member Bononi asked if Ms. Lemke foresees any further maintenance after the two-year period? Ms. Lemke stated two years is sufficient to get plant material established. There will still be die back and Council has the option of increasing the warranty period or have the Industrial Park pick up the maintenance of the area.
Mr. Watson stated this request if a legal one. What they are approving is giving them permission to do this on City Property, and subject to the preparation of a formal easement to allow that right to go on the public property. The terms of the easement can include any type of maintenance provision.
CM-00-08-289 Moved by Bononi, seconded by DeRoche; MOTION CARRIED:
To Amend the original motion to include three years of maintenance of the City owned property.
Member Kramer complimented Ms. Lemke on the work done in preparation of the berm waivers brought before Council. This adjacency is the most sensitive in the City. When adjacencies meet with residential areas, it is crucial to work with the residents. He asked if the residents had been notified of the variances for the adjacencies? He will not support any proposal presented until there is support from the residents. Regarding the City property, he is looking for a design that does not require any City involvement in the maintenance. Member Kramer’s recommendation is to table or postpone the motion to allow discussion from citizens.
Mayor Clark allowed Mr. A. Serlin to speak at this time due to a misunderstanding of when he should be addressing the berm issues.
Mr. Arnold Serlin, the developer of Bristol Corners West Subdivision said he would like Council to either postpone making a decision, or deny the request until more time is allowed to evaluate this. He commends the developer for his efforts in this problem; there is not a simple solution. He spoke of his surprise that the City would accept a dedicated fifty-foot wide wild life trail between the two properties. During his investigation with all of the consultants, city offices, anyone he thought may have something to do with this particular receipt of easement, he could not find anyone who would admit to knowing how it became the City’s property. He understood this was previously preserved as a set back between residential and industrial and the developer would have to build the berm. The berm in its present form and design does not meet the Ordinance requirements. The Planning Department asked the Bristol Corners developers to post a Zoning Map in the sales office indicating the property next to them is zoned Light Industrial. He is concerned with the lack of berm and tree height and lack of screening during the winter months along the Bristol Corners property line. The size and nature of evergreen trees will not adequately conceal the buildings of the industrial park. He feels there are a number of issues needing to be addressed. The proposal in its best effort does not meet the Ordinance. Mr. Serlin has many suggestions to correct this situation and would like the opportunity to discuss them. Building a retaining wall or planting taller trees to start with. He is also concerned with the City’s liability owning and maintaining the wild life preserve. A solution may be to give ownership of the berm to the developer of the Industrial Park.
Mr. Quinn did not feel that postponing the decision would serve any purpose. There have been repeated meetings on this issue already. Ms. Lemke and Northern Equities has repeatedly met with the residents in the area. He feels the decision is easy, either they make the slope ten feet tall and tear down all of the large Oak trees, or we do the plan as presented with supplemental plantings when it is returned to the Planning Commission.
CM-00-28-290 Moved by Kramer, seconded by Bononi; MOTION CARRIED:
Second Amendment To postpone the decision on the variances until the next Council Meeting.
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo would like to see twenty-foot trees in the areas that are deficient in berm height and screening. A better evaluation of the opacity needs to be done as well. Ms. Lemke did not have any problem going to the developer and asking for larger trees. The problem she is having is getting more berm height; she does not feel there is anything else that can be done other than removing the existing vegetation.
Member Kramer stated his problem is Ms. Lemke is presuming what she desires. She disagreed, stating the residents would rather have the berm than the existing vegetation. Member Kramer asked that she take another look and see if there is a more beneficial blend of alternatives. Look for more flexible designs that may more closely satisfy the Ordinance requirements.
Roll call vote on CM-00-28-290 YEAS: Crawford, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo,
9. Approval of ACO-SW00-006 Supplemental Environmental Project pursuant to MDEQ Administrative Consent order.
CM-00-08-291 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION CARRIED:
To postpone action on this item until the Storm Water Committee is in place and to review other projects than can utilized the monies.
Mr. Nowicki stated there are time constraints, this needs to be moved forward according the MDEQ.
We have sixty days to do this.
Mayor Pro-Tem is not in favor of this project; she feels there are other projects that benefit the public more. She would like an extension for this.
Member Bononi has reviewed the project and checked the proposal on the Web site, she believes it is beneficial with a narrow focus. She finds it unusual that Novi does not have any volunteer groups that will adopt a stream or a Creek Shed Groups.
Member Kramer likes the idea of a facility at West Park Drive, an educational use of the wetlands in that area. The other alternatives need more development. Can additional time be requested from the MDEQ to consider other actions?
Member Crawford does not see it as a narrow scoped project. There are six areas covering a large geographical area of the community. It is including Web sites, brochures, outdoor classrooms, it seems like a very comprehensive project.
Mr. Nowicki stated these are six individual projects. What is being proposed is the acquisition of a GIS Web computer server. The others listed are potential projects.
Mr. Helwig stated the amount of money is relatively small. The ideal would be to bank the money and get a greater economy of scale. Another option would be what other resources can be consolidated with this to provide something more valuable to the community.
Mr. Nowicki’s opinion is an extension is possible with justification and documentation but he did not think MDEQ would allow the banking of the monies. He believes they would like us to move forward as rapidly as possible on this project.
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo stated with additional time there may be involvement in a project where Rouge monies may be available and this would be a local match.
Mr. Nowicki responded the MDEQ would not allow this type of an arrangement. They prefer a separate project and want to see something happen for the $9,400.
Member Crawford asked Mr. Nowicki, there are six other potential projects, they look as if they can be done for small amounts of money. Can these six be done for the $9,400? Mr. Nowicki responded one or a combination could be done for the money.
Roll call vote for CM-00-08-291 YEAS: Bononi, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo
Member Crawford asked how long before we will know if the extension is granted? Mr. Nowicki answered he would get the information to them as soon as possible, hopefully by the next meeting in two weeks.
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
N. Approval to adopt a Revised Investment Policy – Removed by Member Bononi
Member Bononi stated she does not have a problem with changing the name of the bank designation from Great Lake Bank to TCF. She does have strong reservations about changing the language of the policy allowing previous extensive Municipal Treasury experience to be provided instead of a college or university degree. After reading the investment policy and responsibilities for the two people who currently hold this job she would consider upgrading the requirements of the people with regards to the areas of responsibilities that they exercise.
Member Bononi stated the position should consider education along with experience and credentials. She believes it requires both. Changing these qualifications sends a wrong message to city employees regarding professional development. She thinks this is one of the areas where the Council realizes that the City could have done a better job toward people who work for the City with regard to encouraging them to continue their education and continue their certifications. She believes this is writing a human resource policy for a person and this is not a good business practice.
CM-00-08-292 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the transfer of Great Lakes Bank to TCF but eliminate the reference to the fact that this change of language recognizes experience as an alternative to a four year degree
Mr. Helwig agreed with Member Bononi’s comments. He and Kathy Smith-Roy had a difference of opinion at the beginning of his appointment but he finally agreed with the decision to promote from within the City. Ms. Bev Valente was then promoted to the position of Assistant Treasurer. Ms. Valente does not have a degree but it is in her performance to go school to get the degree. Kathy Smith-Roy has her MBA and she felt it was important to have this reflect how the City was currently staffed. He could not agree more and certainly does not want to make any personnel changes tomorrow and agrees with what has been said previously. He highly values education and it has been emphasized since his arrival.
Roll Call Vote on CM-00-08-292 Yes: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Crawford
Member DeRoche wanted clarification on the comment made by Mr. Helwig regarding staffing. He asked if the City would stay staffed. Mr. Helwig answered yes.
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Refer the sign ordinance to the Ordinance Review Committee for review of unique or
special projects - Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo
CM-00-08-293 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION CARRIED: To refer the sign ordinance to Ordinance Review Committee, pertaining to special or unique projects or circumstances.
Member Crawford commented he would concur if the intent of the motion were to review only the unique. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo answered the committee would not be going over the whole sign ordinance.
ROLL CALL Vote on CM-00-08-293 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Crawford, Csordas
Direct administration to send a letter to John McCulloch, Chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners requesting the status of the study of the septic system evaluation and inspection. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo noted in March she requested information from Mr. Nowicki as to where the County was with regard to studying the issue of septic system evaluation and inspection at point of sale. At that time, Mr. Nowicki was told that it was being studying and that they would expect a report in the not too distant future. There had still been no response other than the County Executive’s response, which was totally contrary to the previous request and response. She wanted to know from Chairman McCulloch, Oakland County Board of Commissioners, where this issue stood, whether it was being studied or if the study was complete. He wanted to know his policy on this was given his circumstance with possibly being elected to Mr. Kuhn’s position very shortly. It leaves us in a very precarious position here because we have this voluntary permit and would have to comply with certain standards and provisions and we are left in the lurch right now. It was imperative that we know where we have to stand. If the County did not take a leadership position on this through the Board of Commissioners, Drain Commissioners Office or the Executive then we need to know that because then we would have to budget and do work for this with ordinances for ourselves.
Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo said that back in March she had requested information from Mr. Nowicki as to where the county was with regard to the study of septic system evaluation and inspection at point of sale. Mr. Nowicki was told that it was being studied and that a report would be coming in the not to distant future. There still has not been a response other than a county executive response, which is totally contrary to the previous request. She would like to hear from Chairman McCullough where this issue stands and whether it is being studied or if the study is complete. The City has a voluntary permit and the City is going to have to comply with certain standards and previsions. If the county is not going to take a leadership position then Novi needs to budget and do ordinances.
CM-00-08-294 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; MOTION CARRIED:
To direct administration to send a letter to L. Brooks Patterson with copies to Kay Schmid, George Kuhn and John McCulloch
requesting the status of the project.
Member Bononi thought it was also illuminating to know that both Wayne and Washtenaw Counties have already adopted and had in place these inspection programs designated to different areas of authority. She said Oakland County was the only county that had not done so and she presumed that it would probably be one of the items of discussion at the Federal Court on September 12th. We are talking about a financial burden to our local communities that would be significant and we do not have the personnel to take on the job at this point. Although, there was an Environmental Infrastructure Fund that was available for us to compete with other communities to get. These programs require certification of inspectors, they are expensive to operate and it would be a stretch to presume they are in a better position to operate such a program then the County. The County already has an Environmental Health Department.
Member DeRoche thought it was a very well intended request but outside of the guidelines of protocol. He would not support the motion. Mr. McCulloch had not been elected Drain Commissioner yet and he thought they would be influencing political pressure on somebody who did not have the responsibility that we are asking them to get involved with. He felt the letter should be directed to Mr. Kuhn or Mr. Patterson or through Kay Schmid. This Council taking a formal action to people outside of the political representative protocols that they are elected to would be a bad move for the City.
Mayor Clark said based on the letters received it seemed clear where Brooks Patterson stood and Mr. Kuhn had not made a recommendation to become involved in the same type of procedure and program that Wayne and Washtenaw Counties are involved in. A letter could be sent but Member DeRoche was probably correct.
Member Crawford felt it would be appropriate to send a letter to some of the persons Member DeRoche mentioned asking what the status of the projects were and not their position on those items. Mayor Clark asked if that was acceptable? Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said it was.
CM-00-08-294 Moved by Lorenzo, Seconded by Bononi: CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To direct Administration to send a letter to Mr. Patterson and copy to Mr. McCullough, Mr. Kuhn and Ms. Schmid requesting the status of the study and boards position on this matter
Member Bononi commented the Wayne and Washtenaw Counties have adopted and have in place these inspection programs designated to different areas of authority. Oakland County is the only county that has not done so and she presumes this probably will be one of the items of discussion at the Federal Court on September 12,2000 because it would be a financial burden to local communities, which is significant.
Member DeRoche said it is a well-intended request but he cannot support it. He commented it might be more appropriate to write a letter to Mr. Kuhn or Mr. Patterson or the current representative, Kay Schmid. Council should not take formal action to people outside the political representative. Mayor Clark said based on the letters that have been received it seems pretty clear where Brooks Patterson stands and Mr. Kuhn has not made a recommendation to become involved in the same type of program as Wayne and Washtenaw Counties. Mayor Clark said Member DeRoche is probably right that the letter should go to Mr. Patterson or Mr. Kuhn.
Member Crawford thinks it is appropriate to send a letter to some of the persons that Member DeRoche mentioned in asking about the status but not about their positions. Mayor Pro-Tem Lorenzo said this would be acceptable.
Roll call vote on CM-00-08-294 Yeas: Kramer, Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Crawford,
3. Brief discussion with the Fire Chief regarding a memo he sent – Member Csordas
Member Csordas asked what happens to the paid on-call should the City go to a full time fire department?
Chief Lenaghan started by clarifying full time and 24 hour staffing. He stated 24 hour staffing is a continuation of the present program where two people are on each vehicle, which has not been meet at this point. This has been attempted by using a supervisor. Auxiliary staff is being used during the day and the paid on-call system would continue but probably not for medical emergencies.
Chief Lenaghan commented East Pointe was a community that was evaluated because they have a paid on-call along with a full time department.
Member Csordas commented on the recent tour of the fire department and the staff that was present. He asked if they were paid on-call staff? Chief Lenaghan answered yes and full time employees work 6:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Member Csordas said last year’s expenditure for full time fire fighters for wages and benefits was $83,000 per person. He wanted clarification regarding the millage request. He asked Chief Lenaghan if the request is asking for 31 new employees? Chief Lenaghan responded 17 would be used as a shift strength times three. It would take 51. He said currently there are 20 full time employees and this would be the minimum staffing. This is not allowing for vacation or sick time.
Chief Lenaghan commented the hour exchange would be a three-platoon system instead of one shift, which they currently have in place. The request would allow for three to cover 24 hour staffing, which is a 53-hour workweek as required state law. Staff would work a day and then be off for two days. The system works three on and four off but basically it is a 53-hour workweek.
Member Csordas asked if the department is looking for 31 more employees? Chief Lenaghan responded the department is trying to stay to the original proposal that the department currently has regarding putting eight first line vehicles with two employees on each along with a shift supervisor. This would amount to 17 people. Member Csordas commented the department is looking for 17 people? Chief Lenaghan said 17 people per three shifts.
Member Csordas commented on fire station improvements. He asked if all of these issues would be included in the millage? Chief Lenaghan answered yes. The millage provides for 24 hour staffing, advanced life support and to provide for equipment acquisitions and station modifications in order to accommodate 24 hour staffing and the advance life support program. He believes this is the latest language.
Member Csordas commented the additional revenue generated by 1.5 mill tax increase is $3,142,000.00. He wanted to make sure it is 1.5 mills? Chief Lenaghan said this is the number that he was given by the finance director. Member Csordas commented he remembers something about ½ mill.
Member Csordas said the last tax increase would provide the funds generated to allow the fire department to implement 24-hour staffing and advance life support program. What is this program? Chief Lenaghan explained it would be operating the equipment that is already available but it would be upgrading the level of training for some of the staff. It is an extensive program. Member Csordas asked Chief Lenaghan how long he thinks it will take to build up the 31 staff. Chief Lenaghan commented the stations would have to be modified. The tax money would not even be collected until next July. The first year would probably include station modifications and maybe an initial hiring. The hiring would have to be done in phases. The first phase would be a seven-day operation with two-shift day shift and everything remaining almost the same as it is currently. When the training is complete and the station is modified then go to the third shift, which the department could implement the 24 hour shift.
Member Csordas commented it seems a drastic step to more than double the size of the department through this tax increase. He thanks Chief Lenaghan for his response to all his questions.
A man commented on the 31 additional fire fighters and the mill amounts. He asked about the tax base of 1.5 mills and the amount created. Mr. Helwig commented he would have the finance director compute the amount and forward the information. The man asked what the amount would be for four additional private ALS units? Mr. Helwig asked Chief Lenaghan to provide the amount to the gentleman.
1. Letter from Mayor Clark, to Linda Duncan Re: Meadowbrook Glens Subdivision street
Letter from Zoning Board of Appeals; Re: Sign Variances-Fountain Walk
Letter from Mark Kemper, Re: South Lake Drive
Letter from Michigan Liquor Control Commission, Re: Two available new Class C licenses
Letter from Whispering Meadows Homeowners Association Re: Authority to act on behalf of Board of Directors.
Letter from Sarah J. Gray Re: S. Lake Drive
Letter from Michael Rosinski on behalf of Walter and Hazel Rosinski Re: Drainage Complaint on Taft Road.
Letter from Pat Karevich Re: Road Bond issue.
Memo from DPS Nowicki to City Manager Helwig Re: Taft Road drainage issues.
Memo from DPS Nowicki to City Manager Helwig Re: Household Hazardous Waste Collection.
Letter from Len Wilczewski opposing vacating Elm Court.
Letter from Judy Thompson opposing vacating Elm Court.
Letter from Rob and Chris Czarnecki opposing vacating Elm Court.
Letter from Chris House; Re: South Lake Drive Closure at Thirteen Mile/Old Novi Road
Memorandum from JCK & Associates, Re: status of the Expanded Neighborhood Paving Program.
Letter from JCK Re: Utilizing a Wildlife Corridor for the Wetland System on Ten Mile Road Between Taft and Novi Road.
There being no further business to come before Council the meeting was adjourned at 1:34 AM.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cabadas, Executive Secretary
Charlene Mc Lean
Date approved: September 11, 2000