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SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
SATURDAY, APRIL 7, 2001 AT 9:00 AM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 9:12 a.m.
Pledge of Allegiance was led by Mayor Clark.
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: none
PURPOSE OF SPECIAL MEETING Ė 2001-2002 CITY OF NOVI BUDGET:
City Manager Helwig asked for policy direction from Council regarding the 2001-2002 budget. He began with the budget transmittal message. Novi is a city. SEMCOG recently updated the estimated population at 49,750. The U. S. Census Bureau certified our population at 47,386. Our daytime population is 72,000 and a projected build out of 74,000. We are an urban community. It was agreed there would not be department presentations in this budget. The focus was on policy to benefit the community and on the goals adopted by Council last November. Program strategy categories are public safety, roads, city services, parks and forestry, environment and economic development.
Budget plan priorities are:
1. Sandstone litigation vulnerability Ė Council established judgment trust fund of $325,000 for this during FY 2000-2001. By setting this away each year for 17 years, it would support debt service for approximately $2 million in judgment bonds.
2. Increase in General Fund Balance - It is currently down to an estimated $1.5 million. This is a concern and was brought forward for discussion with each of the bond rating agencies prior to the two recent bond sales.
3. Public Safety and Emergency Services Support Ė City Manager Helwig mentioned last yearís water main emergency and that the impact was small. The Cityís emergency staff levels are low. EMS & Fire Services Task Force has recommendations to bring forth during the budget process.
4. Enhancing Noviís open Government - The dedication is to conduct business in an open forum. The expectation is to provide timely information in a comprehensive manner. Cited live cable casts of City meetings and noted there would be a quarterly newsletter.
5.Promises madeÖPromises Kept. Ė City Manager Helwig stated he would like to see this reach the priority of the open government role. It was noted the residents voted for a fire
station back in the 90ís and it was now 2001 and the City has not awarded the bid to construct it.
To achieve the General Fund priorities the following allocations were proposed:
Judgment Trust Fund $475,000
Increase in General Fund Balance $330,000
Public Safety and Emergency Services. Support
EMS & Fire Services Task force priorities $650,000
Snow Plow Truck (CIP fund) $150,000
4 replacement Police vehicles (CIP fund) $109,740
One Police Officer for traffic enforcement $ 30,000
(subsidy over and above fine revenue)
Heavy Equipment Operator (G.F portion) $ 25,800
Mechanic (G.F. portion) $ 23,500
Tornado siren dual-power source (CIP fund) $ 18,000
Enhancing Noviís open government
Equipment to Cablecast meetings (CIP fund) $ 60,000
Election equipment $ 5,525
The focus was on providing top-notch services in a cost-effective manner. The proposed property tax millage rate (10.5416) in this budget plan was: (1) The same rate as the current fiscal year; and (2) less than the average millage rate (10.6 mills) for the last ten years.
Member DeRoche asked if the $650,000 for fire and emergency services was set aside? Response was it is set aside for Councilís review.
Review of property tax dollars show the city portion is 21.9 cents of tax dollars collected.
Displayed revenue trends whereby taxes have increased each year due to growth. This amounts to 17%. This has allowed the city to decrease its dependence on fund balance.
State revenue sharing has increased due to census numbers. The City is realizing approximately 7% increase in state shared revenue. Greatest tax dollars are derived from residential property, then commercial and then industrial. Special revenue funds include street funds, library, and drain. Parks and recreation are from millage.
scheduled budget meetings)
The charge of this group was to make recommendations on how to provide for current and future needs. The task force has met 18 times since the first meeting on February 2, 2001. Listed the special presentations by area physicians, fire chiefs and emergency response personnel. Recommendations to date are: a) to transfer the paid-on-call recruiting efforts to HR department, b) that the city begin paying paid-on-call personnel during training at the rate of $5.35 per hour (minimum wage) and that the pay be retroactive to day 1 upon completion of
30 days of training, and c) put defibrillators in police vehicles and at City Hall . Thanked all participants on the task force who were dedicated to this purpose.
Member DeRoche state he felt this was an incredible commitment on the part of all task force members, as he couldnít recall any other project that required this effort and stated his appreciation. Member Kramer concurred. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked about the average response time charts on page 24 of the budget document. Noted this refers to City of Novi personnel and asked if it was related to the first unit on the scene.
Chief Lenaghan reported that response time is arrival of the first vehicle. Discussed the possible scenario of a structure fire and the sequence of events that follow. Commented it is necessary to have people to operate at each step in the procedure.
City Manager Helwig stated the medical response is 6 minutes and we meet that with the 5 minutes and 25 seconds.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked about the medical response within 10 minutes and alluded to the American Heart Association statement with regard to cardiac arrest and the need for response within the 6 minute window. Felt the need for improvement was great in these categories. She would want someone to respond within the 4-6 minute time period for a cardiac arrest and if there were a fire, the response should be within those 6 minutes. She is pleased to see a large portion of the budget is dedicated to public safety. Also spoke about the tornado sirens and asked to clarify with Oakland County how much they would be willing to pay toward the reimbursement. Agreed with other proposed items including grant for police officer at the schools and traffic enforcement.
Member Kramer commented on the goal of response times throughout other communities and asked if this should be our Cityís goals. We need reasonable, efficient and effective services. Felt the 6 minute standard of our County should be reflected. Valued the priorities to complete the upgrades to police and fire stations. Endorsed the neighborhood speed watch and felt that traffic calming measures were a passive means to accomplish this.
Mayor Clark asked about the response time for medical emergency. Chief Lenaghan responded it was 6 minutes for medical response time for 90% of the time. The 86% of medical calls within 10 minutes are not all calls for cardiac emergencies. Some are less critical.
City Manager Helwig reviewed the vehicle replacement listed in Appendix "G". He was recommending only 5 replacements with 4 of these going to the police department.
Mayor Clark asked about the Fire Station at 10 Mile and Wixom. City Manager Helwig responded that the time delay has allowed for public utilities to be brought to the site. The reviews of the DEQ are continuing. There will be a training tower there and we anticipate completion by this time next year. Hoping the station at 11 Mile and Beck would be used for Forestry and Parks and Recreation after that time.
Member Bononi reported that the firefighters had expressed their concern about non-hydrant areas of the City and this was a positive thing that came from the task force meetings.
Member Cassis asked about the vehicles that needed to be replaced with under 30,000 miles. City Manager Helwig responded there was an 18 month lag time between ordering and delivery and the patrol cars log about 35,000 to 40,000 per year. Assured Council that this budget has been tightened
Member Kramer noted these vehicles were purchased through a county-wide system that allows for a lower price as they are being purchased at a fleet level. COO Klaver noted this was a special production when they manufacture police cars.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked about a request for automatic defibrillators as she felt it was very important. Thought we might partner with Providence Hospital or someone in the community to obtain these. City Manager Helwig noted that it was part of the recommendation. Approximate cost is $2,500 per unit.
City Manager reported it was very pleasing that the community voted for the road improvements for enhancement of neighborhood road re-surfacing. The City pledged we would not go back to the voters for 5 years for this type of funding. Appendix D2 described the road funds. This includes the Village Oaks streets to be resurfaced this year. Reviewed all other projects in this section. The plan was to do the engineering for intersection improvements for 10 Mile at Novi, and Grand River at Novi. Member Kramer spoke about various solutions for the residents along S. Lake Drive. He was searching for a sensitive design for this section of the City.
DPS Nowicki noted that they had been working with residents to come up with the satisfactory decision and they are aggressively pursuing the entire program.
Member Csordas asked about the intersection improvements specifically? DPS Nowicki noted that the intersection along Novi corridor, 12 Mile corridor and Grand River Corridor would have decorative style mast arms.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo spoke about the pavement management program that City Manager Helwig reported on last year. DPS Nowicki stated it consists of working with consultants and would have a proposal to bring forward at the next Council meeting.
City manager Helwig stated that because Village Oaks had been prioritized, there were other roadways that need attention.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked about 11 Mile Road repairs? DPW Nowicki stated it was paved in 1990-91 and the culvert over Bishop Creek has failed and was moving laterally. Itís on the eastbound lane just west of Meadowbrook. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo noted we had not addressed unpaved roads in this budget. Felt there was a commitment from this Council to make it a priority to do this. Felt a promise was made to take care of unpaved roads.
Member Cassis asked about a decision made to pave unpaved roads. Response was that there was a commitment to pursue every avenue possible to fund the paving of these roads. There are still 13.1 miles of unpaved roads. DPS Nowicki noted this also included
consideration of public utilities in the roadway. Member Cassis felt priorities should be set on each individual road.
Mayor Clark commented that for every request to pave a road, there are others who request it not be paved to protect them from speeders, etc.
Member Csordas noted all residents have the opportunity to participate in a Special Assessment District. Stated it would be difficult for him to commit to a different process.
Member DeRoche agreed with Member Cassis to address roads on an individual basis. Noted that graded roads were damaged by graders and felt it would take at least $110,00 to bring them back up to the former level. Asked Council to consider these on an individual basis if they come back to Council.
Member Bononi agreed and felt that staff could prepare a one-page document/survey to send out and ask what residents want. Also suggested staff look into special funding programs. This is community outreach to find out just what residents want. She was also concerned with utilities in these areas as well.
Mayor Clark noted the 10 Mile and Meadowbrook intersection is one with a high accident rate that should be addressed. With regard to S. Lake Drive, it takes time to address this particular project. He felt there was a new spirit of cooperation between the city staff and residents. This has received a lot of support and dedication.
Member Kramer addressed the issue of unpaved roads. Felt there was a significant difference in the approach to address the arterial roads vs. the subdivision. Felt this discussion should not be mixed. When the roads become paved, the City does maintain them as well. The city would continue with the maintenance of these roads.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo stated that all residents were paying property taxes. Everyone was paying for re-paving or maintenance of all these roads. Noted Galway was a major reconstruction. Everyone should get equal benefit from this. We can seek grants or have a combination of Special Assessment District and grants. We all pay taxes to library and schools and these were things we may not always utilize.
Member Cassis asked about a house on an unpaved road and thought they paid the same taxes as a house on a paved road. COO Klaver noted that this was driven by sales. Member Cassis noted that there was an inequality and the road situation needs to be treated differently.
Mayor Clark noted it should be viewed as a cost/benefit analysis as to what needs to be addressed to benefit those in the community. Mentioned this was why we meet with other communities at the National League of Cities to determine how they address their needs. We can learn from them and vice versa.
Council recessed at 10:55 a.m.
Council reconvened at 11:13 a.m.
City Manager Helwig spoke about decreasing dependency on consultants. Noted this was why our team was here today and our focus was on being a high performance team. It will take comprehensive communication and teamwork throughout the community. The hallmark is accountability. Itís something Council places on the City Manager and he places on all departments. Felt this team was maturing. He noted some things need to be done differently. He was aware of the hard work and dedication of everyone and that was as it should be to achieve results for the community. In terms of consultant use, dependence of a department, causes the need to pinpoint accountability. Cited the instance of when an applicant was asked to supply 21 sets of plans, felt that was an indicator of too many entities reviewing department proposals. Itís difficult to add quality to the process. The plan was to increase quality results and have people in the loop and doing this in a cost effective manner. This includes having the City Attorney in the building two days per week. Currently, we have many people calling the consultants. The motivation was to better serve Council and the community. There was a commodity of trust that comes with it. The idea was to project forward. The competition for consulting work should be a hallmark of our values. Noted that any relationship gets comfortable and familiar over time. The good consultants will do just fine in a competitive market. When you have a client for over 20 years, it may not be sharp. He would like more ability to control our destiny. Noted leadership meetings were always held before each Council meeting. This, along with information in off-week packets, assist us. The city was paying a lot of money including retainers to assist us. He would like a higher quality contribution from the consultants when we need them. The Grand River corridor would be addressed through infrastructure. Felt very strongly that we should be able to find a staff engineer here in City Hall to answer questions. Didnít want to have to search for these answers.
Outlined changes as: a) elimination of consultant retainers effective July 1, 2001, b) site plan review to be conducted by City staff effective January 1, 2002, c) the cost of any new City staff positions (e.g. engineers, planners) to be more than offset by the reduced cost of consultant services and fees generated, d) services needed from existing consultants to be based on hourly rates for work (this was implemented last Fall by the City Council for the new City attorney services), e) open competition for consultant service to be sought whenever possible, f) our organizational culture will shift to (1) delivering comprehensive background information from City staff in support of the City Council, Planning Commission and other City advisory bodies; and (2) utilizing expertise mostly for one-time, specific, measurable tasks.
City Manager Helwig felt it was too easy to pick up the phone or have 3 consultant representatives sit in on the same meeting. As good stewards of developing the organization to respond, it was necessary to have the capability to respond with staff on site. Use outside expertise for one time special challenges. Recommended that we continue to go outside for wetland services as well.
Member DeRoche appreciated the explanation. Felt that Novi didnít keep pace with the need for permanent staffing. Noted wetland consulting was not full time. Agreed that it was time to open up the competition for consulting. Council should, in endorsing this change, review how boards and commissions do business as well. Relayed how a number of consultants had been contacted on a single item. Liked the fact of a more accountable organization. Council could direct their request through City Manager, and noted City Manager and City Clerk report to Council.
Member Csordas asked for the consultant review committee recommendation.
Member Kramer noted the survey was from last year. The current topics, policy and culture shift, include consultant review support. Felt It needs to be discussed as it was more important to have open discussion with Council and they declined to make a recommendation.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo reported on consultant review and that while she proposed to make a recommendation, the majority of the committee declined. Member Cassis agreed with Member Kramer that it was a very sensitive and important topic and if we go that road, it would be an immense task as it would take a whole cultural change. He did not wish to interject their majority into what the Council wanted as a whole. Didnít want to cloud Council deliberation with their views and biases. Wanted to defer to the quality of the process today.
Member Csordas agreed that requests for 21 sets of plans was difficult to understand. Suggested that could be addressed regardless of what happened during budget discussion. Asked if our city was set up with regard to fees and were all developer paid? There was a trend in outsourcing and itís where we were at this time. The idea to reduce it would take thought as there was no build up of costs for retention and retirement and still maintain intellectual capital. It eliminated the turnover situation with consultants. Asked that at build-out, what would happen? Would that conclude the responsibilities of employees as development slows to a lesser pace?
Mayor Clark commented that the City Manager put this in the proper context to bring a number of people in house and outsource other things. Finding the balance would be important. This would assist in controlling the cityís destiny. This is a minimum number of staff that would pay for itself. Cost savings would be realized through elimination of retainers. Gave an example that when a particular project was not approved, the applicant must resubmit another 21 plans and this happens 3 and 4 times. Focus would be on how many people really need to look at these sets of plans.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo fully supported and endorsed City Manager Helwigís proposal as it was a well thought out and documented approach. His goals for the city and citizens were honorable and worthwhile. With accountability, effective and frequent communication, she stated she couldnít have said it better herself. Felt the process when the new City Manager was hired was very intense and there was no doubt in her mind that they hired the right person. Expectation was to look at the entire organization and come to Council with the well thought out plan and that was exactly what he has done. This met her expectation. We need to let him do his job and it was very important that after this intense process, that we trust his judgment. Understood there were legitimate concerns about timeliness and empire building and these things would work themselves out as she didnít see it as empire building. Going to an hourly rate was one of the best things we could do. We all have to strive to work smarter. Itís very easy to phone the city attorneys on the days when they are present at City Hall. Felt this was a much easier way to track costs.
Member Bononi stated we should put these 21 sets of plans to rest. As a site plan coordinator, felt there was no need for any more than 6. Stated she worked in an office where the competitive process works very well. Those who were able and willing to compete would do so to obtain the Cityís business. She would look for the attitude, accountability and access. The numbers paid to consults needs to be looked at competitively. This was a well thought out
proposal. There was a professional attitude with regard to professional services that was long past due.
Member Cassis stated that todayís market was quite tough and the human resource section would become a very big portion of this building as we expand our capabilities in hiring. This
was an area of concern. He looked at some of the critiques of our consultants and they didnít look too bad. Granted some things need to be addressed but most were manageable. He was all for accountability and that was the uppermost thing he looked for and stated Mr. Helwig has done a great job. Accountability was our command to demand and obtain it. We have the right to demand it and if they donít respond, we get someone else or deduct funds from their fee. Accountability doesnít mean we have to bring in someone else. Suggested we could tell Mr. Kapelczak that we need one or two of his people here and look at his response. He was for initiating a direction that works toward hiring people in that area but would like to see this happen gradually so that we were equipped and ready to handle this capability. Noted there were people here who have already quit and need to be replaced. Thought it would be best to look at timing, speed and what type of vital things we need to obtain now versus later.
Member Kramer noted that this plan would take the City through to maturity. There was a significant policy change in the budget document on pages 39-46 that was very well done. These proposals were modest in nature and were based on management need for control and were appropriate. The proposal was to recapture money to assist us to do what was necessary for the city. This captures dollars that would go elsewhere. He respected that while we were headed into a cultural shift, he felt there was a plan missing a little bit. We should treat this as a target goal and have administration come back with a goal regarding those items on page 39, virtually, a phase-in plan to support the philosophy. Requested administration to share an implementation plan with Council in the near future.
Mayor Clark felt the consensus at the table was that we support Mr. Helwig in his endeavors in the time he has been here as he was outstanding and stated the leadership team was to be commended as well.
Council recessed at 12:15 p.m. for lunch and returned at 12: 46 p.m.
Continuation of City Services
City Manager Helwig reported on the other City Services topics of the budget document on pages 173, 174 and 175 and also those formatted as D3. Finance Director Smith-Roy gave a brief overview on drain funds. Reviewed beginning fund balance, estimated for budget 2000-2001 revenues and expenditures and the ending fund balance as of 6-30-2001. Reviewed estimate for budget 2001-2002 for revenues and expenditures and the projects included were the Haggerty District Basin, Ingersoll Basin MDOT contract, Meadowbrook and Village Oaks reserve, Miller Creek/Dunbarton and Wixom Retention.
DPS Nowicki spoke about the Ingersoll basin costing approximately $255,000. They were awaiting the delivery of the contract from MDOT. The contract would be brought to the Stormwater Management and Watershed Stewardship committee meeting. The sedimentation programs were estimated to be over $12 million dollars. Member Bononi noted different grants were available to cut these costs even further.
Finance Director Smith-Roy stated it was proposed to maintain funds in water and sewer operating fund and that would be accomplished by passing on the rates given to the city from Detroit Water and Sewer. The increase was 13.7% and the resulting increase would be 8.8% for a homeowner with water and sewer. Other water and sewer projects were a 24 inch
water main extension for 12 mile and I-96 crossing, a 24 inch water main extension along West Park Dr. to connect to the new DWSD metered connection, and a water main extension from 13 Mile road east of M-5 and parallel to Haggerty Road.
Member DeRoche clarified that the City was only passing on a City of Detroit water rate increase. Noted the City was not in the business of making money by selling water to residents.
Member Cassis asked about the area of regional detention. DPS Nowicki stated we were about 50-60% complete with our stormwater detention system. We were forecasting what private development might be. Member Cassis cited areas such as Beck Road that were sometimes under 5-6 inches of water. Cited the topographical areas that were causes for concern. DPS Nowicki described an area on Taft just south of ten where the culverts were upsized to alleviate flooding. Also, by looking at the elevation of areas on Beck Road that experience flooding, that would be affected by raising the entire grade of the road.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked each year if we have prepared an ongoing comprehensive stormwater maintenance program whereby we maintain our city-owned storm culverts, drains, catch basins, etc.? Asked where were we now with this annual maintenance program and what do we need to do to update that? DPS Nowicki, stated the accomplishments of the department had been stated and there was also a program reviewed on an annual basis whereby specific areas of the city were targeted. All were inspected weekly and after storm events. All catch basins were not cleaned annually. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo felt that we needed a higher standard. Looked for this information in this budget and felt it was important as something we should be doing more of as a municipality and would like this information between now and last budget session as to what it would take capital improvement wise and personnel wise. In the scope of watershed management, this should be second nature to us. City Manager Helwig noted some communities hire summer personnel to complete these tasks.
Member Bononi stated her Stormwater group would make policy direction on this and prepare a proposal on stormwater management ordinances and look at a concept of regional basins as opposed to on-site basins where we can afford the regional route. They would also review flood control and water quality measures.
Member Kramer commented on the water distribution system. He suggested that our posture should be a little more open and this consideration might come from the task force regarding water infrastructure with regard to insurance rates. We could consider extending our water distribution system, such as fire hydrants, etc.
Member Kramer also commented on Neighborhood services initiative and commended administration on this. Invited residents to attend the upcoming summit at civic center. Reported that we should advertise our mediation services as well. The rental unit inspection ordinance would be an enabler in that area as well.
City Manager Helwig reported on the reorganization of Parks and Forestry. COO Klaver noted he has been dedicated to every resident that contacts the City regarding forestry issues. Also
important was the follow-through for park development. These should be completed in August 2001. They did not want to overlook Fuerst Farm with their task force committee recommendation.
Mayor Pro tem Lorenzo asked about funds being reserved to further maintain and enhance that property. It was suggested by City Manger Helwig that it come forward as a comprehensive policy direction. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo noted we do not have the resources to commit to more than $10,000.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked about trees for planting and the responsibilities of developers. Also referred to what we do on a municipal property with regard to landscaping and maintenance, fertilization, etc. and asked if there was a plan for all these areas. City Manager Helwig reported on the low cost community enhancing characteristics such as having pride in the appearance of the community. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if we had budgeted any money for these areas of forestry and if we have set forth funds for these issues.
COO Klaver reported the value of re-creating the street tree ordinance. The process has begun but hoped to bring forth changes in the near future. Looking to have the city control the process of when the developers complete their projects including items such as bonds from developers. City Manager Helwig reported there was still much work to do with bond money for street trees and with regard to the promises made to community groups. This needs to be reviewed before setting aside any funds for these projects. Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked to keep these things on the radar screen.
Member Cassis commented we were dealing with policy issues and doing this without knowing what the policy direction of this Council would be without discussion at the Council table.
With regard to the Fuerst Farm, asked if it was there to be preserved, maintained, or if there was a vote to do this? COO Klaver noted there have been funds committed to stabilize it but no long term plans for this project. Member Cassis suggested asking the community what they want to do with the Fuerst Farm. Looked for clarification as to what direction this property should be taking. Itís been patched up with x amount of thousands of dollars. It should be looked at with the future of the City in mind including the upgrade of the High School.
Member Csordas asked about the current balance of the tree fund? Finance Director Smith-Roy stated there were tree funds for specific planting by developers and funds for City projects. This also carries the money from fines for a specific area that must be used only for that area and a nominal amount for city trees for city property. Member Csordas asked about co-mingling funds? Response was they were not co-mingled. The funds for the trees were separated by project and maintenance fees were combined. Member Csordas asked about interest earned on the funds. Finance Director Smith-Roy replied that with regard to funds in bond accounts from developers, the interest goes to the General Fund. Tree maintenance funds, by ordinance, stays within that fund. COO Klaver stated that in 1998, the amount for individual trees was increased to $350. Many of these amounts date back to the $250 and this explains why the amounts are short by $16,000. It is being researched about whether or not
developers can be contacted again for the additional costs. The current ordinance allows for developers to deposit the funds and the city to plant. Subdivisions that donít get built out for 6 or 7 years make it an issue of unfairness to the city to bear the costs.
Member Kramer asked about whether we are doing this correctly to combine the responsibility of Forestry with Parks and Recreation, and questioned if this department be responsible for building and maintenance? The administration area to oversee programs might include another group that could handle this.
City Manager Helwig spoke of environmental priorities of storm water management, vehicle and traffic pollution, improvement in overall community character, land use issues resulting from urban sprawl and surface water resources management. The top 5 specific environmental priorities were: 1) retrofitting and constructing detention basins in the city of Novi to provide for more adequate conveyance and control of storm water and to prevent flooding and uncontrollable water flows. 2) completion of the Quail Ridge Drain project, which is a joint project with Northville Township, to address the problem of storm water flow control and to mitigate erosion and sedimentation. 3) streambank erosion and sedimentation control were two closely related issues that need to be addressed now and periodically in the future. Both of these closely related issues were an important factor in maintaining high water quality in the City of Novi and in the Southeast Michigan region. 4) maintaining and expanding green space and natural areas in the City of Novi can contribute numerous environmental and aesthetic qualities to our community. 5) reducing non-point source pollution is critical to the quality of life throughout the city and in the Southeast Michigan region.
Member Bononi expressed her pleasure at these environmental issues being targeted in this budget document. Environmental Services Manager Dave Maurice reported on the goals and objectives for stormwater issues. Pollution prevention initiative was specific to the City of Novi. This requires participation from the administration and the public. DPW has personnel in the field to oversee drainage issues relating to stormwater.
Member Bononi felt we were positioning ourselves with technology and heading toward 2003 NPDES (National Pullutant Discharge Elimination System). Referred to soil erosion, sedimentation control, and dredging problems with Village Oaks and Meadowbrook Lake. This becomes a very expensive proposition. We only have one person in the field to review this. We do not have a stringent compliance program and felt itís costing us money. Asked City manager Helwig to look at this and to review lost wetlands.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo concurred with Member Bononiís comments and was pleased that Councilís comments were documented in the budget. Asked DPS Nowicki to report on the hazardous waste collection day coming up. DPS Nowicki reported that because of the Cityís membership in RRRASOC, household hazardous waste collection was scheduled from 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, 2001 to be held at the City of Wixom. The City of Noviís waste pickup day was scheduled for September 9, 2001. Reminded citizens that latex paint can be dried out and disposed of in standard waste..
Member Kramer commended the City Manager for bringing out the subject of environment and stated it was an excellent compilation of material. Recognizing it wasnít a new initiative but
pulled things together under one title. The subject of environment needs recognition and would like to see the annual objective in other departments as well such as public services. Felt it was as important that it be internalized and function as departmental responsibilities.
City Manager Helwig noted that Noviís daytime population was estimated at a minimum of 72,000 because of the people that come here to work, shop and go to school. He referred to the Main Street focus of the community and noted that 93% of the retail space was leased and 89% of second floor office space was leased. Office services technology zoning map was created to refer to precious land that is city-initiated to find a tax base of land uses to serve this community for generations to come.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo felt that Main Street should be up on the top of the list for its success. She was not in agreement with the current tax abatement policy. The level of getting in was too low and should be reserved only for extraordinary projects that would give the City greater amounts of tax. Disagrees with Tower Automotive in that they were not the owner of the property, but lessees, and whether or not they exist, the City would still be receiving taxes on this property.
Mayor Clark stated that when the tax abatement policy was developed, the Council agreed to look at each project as they came along and so far there had only been one. The moving of the Novi Expo center would alleviate traffic congestion. Future projects would be scrutinized with a sharp eye. Tower Automotive may not own the building but the owner of the building would still pay the taxes on that building. They have a fairly substantial lease. By putting that high-speed T-1 line in front of their building, their purpose was to bring highly technologically oriented businesses to this community. Several high tech firms have left California and come to Michigan because they need electricity to operate and they cannot do it in the dark in California. This line would make the city of Novi more desirable and businesses would generate, new, substantial tax revenue, and this would allow us to hold our millage rate where itís been the last several years. Commended Mr. Chen and City Manager Helwig and staff who have furthered the Main Street project along and the extreme component role it plays in the City. Mayor Clark noted Tower Automotivesí donation of $50,000 to the City.
Member Cassis commented on Main Street and the progress happening with this project. Suggested Mr. Chen create awareness programs such as an activity that draws attention to this area. Spoke about the idea of a band shell on the street. Reminded how nice it was for the Holiday walk on Main Street.
Mayor Clark mentioned it would be a tremendous plus to move the band shell over to Main Street.
Member Csordas noted many businesses there had concerns over the lack of parking. Asked if their allotment of parking included the underground parking?
City Manager Helwig replied that the underground parking was quite instrumental for the owners as well as the office staff in the area. The concept for a 1600 car parking structure was being discussed
Patrick Brunett, President of the Library Board, stated their budget was adopted by the library Board on March 19, 2001. They were happy to have participated in the goal setting process with the City. The library needs to be met with high quality and services. Funding of a new library facility, library services and the need to maintain outreach to homebound or institutionalized citizens was discussed. Also included were accomplishments of the library. Spoke about the need for funding for construction of a new library. Mentioned they would hope to present this on the November ballot and would include the issues for funding a new library and operating millage as well. They maintained a high level of public interest in the library. Effort was to increase services and measure these more frequently. In order to continue to provide services to the homebound, the need to purchase a van in this fiscal year was noted. The library adopts a category budget and not a line item budget. The budget was essentially the same as last year. They are most proud of the library board being increased from 5 to 7 members following a change in State law and then appointments by the Mayor. They felt pleased that the Council selected those individuals that were very well prepared. They have created a Library Manual to keep board members up to date for future decisions. Proposed to provide details on any other items and noted the pride in staff for providing the services.
Member Cassis asked about partnership to finance the van such as Borders, Office Depot, etc, that might want to contribute. Mr. Brunett stated they were contacted.
Member Csordas asked about the projected attendance at the Library and why the significant increase? Director Evans responded that this new reporting form assisted them in counting all those who were affected by the Library Services. The Friends of the Library has also brought in hundreds of people with new adult programs as well. These were people who come for specific events. Summer reading program, craft programs, puppet shows, etc. total about 13,000 -15,000 in the library and others were in special programs.
Member DeRoche asked about the number of Library staff. Response was there were 25 full time and a total of 50.
Mayor Clark asked about the purchase of the new van and commended the Library on getting 16 years of use from this vehicle. Does the Library have a joint purchasing arm that they use similar to the police vehicle purchasing program? Director Brenda Evans has researched the same programs used by the City and has looked into the possibility of donations as well for this item. They would like to explore a joint purchasing co-op. Mayor Clark asked if the Library could be brought into the State purchasing program and thanked the Library staff for their input.
Mayor Clark commented that he deeply appreciated the commitment of the Leadership team.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION: - none
Mayor Clark noted the next budget sessions would take place on April 18, 2001 from 7-10 and April 21, 2001from 9-12 noon.
COO Klaver noted that the City goals were on display in the Civic Center.
There being no further business to come before the Council, the meeting was adjourned at 2:44 p.m.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, CMC, City Clerk
Date Approved: April 16, 2001