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SPECIAL JOINT MEETING OF THE NOVI CITY COUNCIL
AND THE NOVI LIBRARY BOARD
WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2001
BEGAN AT 6:00 PM AT THE LIBRARY AND CONTINUED AT 7:00 PM IN THE
NOVI CIVIC CENTER – COUNCIL CHAMBERS – 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
John Chambers, president of Novi Library Board, called the meeting to order at 6:27 p.m.
COUNCIL: Mayor Clark-absent/excused, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo-absent/excused, Council Members Bononi-absent/excused, Cassis, Csordas-absent/excused, DeRoche-absent/excused and Kramer-absent/excused
NOVI LIBRARY BOARD: Bauer, Brunett, Chambers, Dickieson-absent/excused, Krieger,
PURPOSE OF SPECIAL MEETING
6:00 p.m. Light Dinner
Overview of Library Board Development and Orientation Process
6:30 p.m. Tour of Library Building
Director Evans began the tour of the library with the children’s area and spoke about the statistics they had gathered with regard to the needs of the community. Four employees share a very small space in the planning area. In the tech services area, the employees add 6,000 items per year to the library. In this same area, there are no windows and it is also used as a tornado shelter. Some time it is necessary to use the restroom facilities as a tornado shelter as the tech services area is so small. Everyone works two evenings in addition to the regular 9-5 day. The key service times are from 1-5 weekdays and all day Saturday. Other areas of the library that were viewed including the building maintenance area, the water damaged ceilings throughout the entire west side of the building and the local history room. Due to the structural limitations, the library cannot hold the materials, as the shelving is crowded. In some cases, patrons cannot reach shelves to retrieve books; they are either too high or too low. The areas for Kids Net is also quite small. Council member Cassis asked if the Library has an area where patrons can listen to music. The Novi Library does not have space for this. President Chambers noted the Board would ask Council to consider a millage of 1.2 for the November election. The Library Board and Council member Cassis recessed this meeting at 7:00 p.m. to move to the Council Chambers at the Civic Center.
Reconvened meeting in Novi City Council Chambers
Member Kramer called the meeting to order at 7:15 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
COUNCIL: Mayor Clark-absent/excused, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo-absent/excused, Council Members Bononi-absent/excused, Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche and Kramer
NOVI LIBRARY BOARD: Bauer, Brunett, Chambers, Dickieson-absent, Krieger, Lawrence,
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-01-05-121 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Cassis; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as presented.
Vote on CM-01-05-121 Yeas: Cassis, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
Absent: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
Member DeRoche asked for an overview of the 6:00 PM meeting, as he was unable to attend.
Member Cassis commented they toured the library and witnessed it was very crowded and there were things that were vitally needed by the library. He went from room to room and observed the activities and offerings of the library. He said everything was crowded and congested. The roof was leaking all over the place and there was danger because of electrical boxes. Library Director Brenda Evans showed Member Cassis the many different programs taking place within the space available. He said the use of libraries was very vital to our people and he felt the value of having a good library in any community should not be underestimated. It was a good tour. He was looking forward to enhancing the conditions of the library and also looking forward to the November ballot question regarding the future of the library.
Pat Brunett, Library Board, commented they were in the process of repairing the leaky roof and expect that it should be finished by Tuesday.
John Chambers noted this was the third time the roof was repaired. He asked Council to contact Director Evans for a tour to see the interior where a large crack was quite visible on the west side of the Library. Mr. Chamber wanted Council to personally see the area where city services were provided to the residents.
Member Kramer asked Director Evans to contact the City Clerk and he would put this on the agenda under Matters for Council action to schedule times for Council to tour the Library.
LIBRARY FUTURE PLANS (Power Point presentation)
Director Brenda Evans displayed a power point presentation for the proposed expansion of the Novi Library. Ms. Evans noted the population growth was clarified by the most recent census. The library building was constructed during a period of growth and it now needed to be continued. They anticipated a population projection of about 78,000. One of the general formulas for public library growth in facility planning is that it is preferable to have 1 square foot of library space per capita. The current library
building is 23,190 square feet and the 2000 Census population was 47,386. A Lansing polling firm took a telephone survey and 87% of the resident’s felt a good public library was very important in their life. Areas of children programming and technology require the need for more services. They need increased space for programs for all ages,
increased collections, specifically more books for children, meetings, enhanced access to technology resources, quiet study area for focused study time and ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance. The building pre-dates the ADA and the board’s goal is to come into compliance. There were 533 total programs sponsored by the library last year and the total attendance was 18,723. The Friends of the Library supported a series of lectures on bringing the Michigan Opera Theatre and the Hillberry Theatre to Novi. There are also ongoing book discussion groups for middle school students, adults, and senior citizens. The following is what is needed to meet the community’s expectations for programming:
Program space – 300 seat general programming room
100 seat special programming room
Dedicated children’s programming room
20-seat conference room
12-seat computer lab for structured opportunities for training
Also needed is a room for technicians to assist residents.
Often, the programs attract many more people than they have room for. Larger rooms to hold supplies for children’s programs are needed and that would also allow the parents to stay in the rooms with their children.
The meeting room space would take about 7% of the library that they envision for the future of Novi or about 5,670 square feet.
Presently they are removing items from the collections in order to add new items and are finding that they have to cut down on display space because storage space is needed. Per capita the library is not large and they need to catch up in terms of popular materials and picture books. Their future service goal is 202,000 volumes and the space required to hold that would be almost a quarter of the new library. Books comprise about 78% of the business done by the library. A new service with e-books has been added but it is still not as popular as paper books.
They hope to provide more computer workstations but also want to provide more ports so that people could use their own equipment. Providing data access lines is as important as the hardware and space, for that is a challenge to many public institutions. The department needs to have the infrastructure to support it as well. The building was built before the technology was available. Their goal is at least 200 computers, which would take 3,000 square feet of their future floor space.
They are not alone in addressing the needs of their library. Communities such as Dearborn, Southfield, W. Bloomfield, and Salem-South Lyon have all voted to increase
the type of services offered by the Library. Farmington Community Library is renovating for a total of 90,000 square feet. W. Bloomfield opened their new library with 72,000 square feet one year ago. Novi is looking at a total of 80,000 square feet of space.
They have 7 acres and would design it to enhance the municipal complex and provide ample parking. Ms. Evans displayed the conceptual site use, which projected the size of the collections and services needed and how much floor area they would require. The category "other" involves the mechanical room space, elevator space and those kinds of infrastructure.
Ms. Evans noted they would like to be on the November 6, 2001 ballot and assuming a successful outcome, the next steps would be program development, schematic drawings, design development and bidding all completed by March 2003 with the construction completed by September 2004. The construction loan would be $21,470,000 and they would propose to add 1.2 mills for construction and operating costs, which would bring the total levy for library services to 2 mills. They wanted to explore the use of the Building Authority to issue the bonds for the project.
John Chambers noted needs assessments have been completed over the years along with information from Mr. Neiman, Bond Counsel and Mr. Bendzinski. 89% of households use the Library. He explained that the Library has the equipment for everything from large print books to special Oplek reader for the visually impaired. He asked Council to consider putting this on the November ballot and to consider putting this through the Building Authority. The statute did allow for more than one Building Authority and since they are a governing board/body Council might want to have a Building Authority for the purposes of the Library.
Member Kramer requested that Mr. Klaver report back to Council regarding a separate Building Authority for the Library.
Mr. Klaver noted they had discussions with Mr. Neiman, Bond Attorney, regarding how this would work and he would be happy to report back. Member Csordas asked how it would work? Mr. Klaver said there were a couple options available. The statute did allow for more than one Building Authority and one could be set up exclusively for this project. Another option would be to ask the existing one to take over this project and it would work like it did with the senior housing project. A committee could be formed to study a variety of facilities and return to Council with recommendations. When those were approved the information would be presented to the Building Authority. The City Council would appoint the members of the Building Authority. The current composition of the Building Authority was the city manager, finance director and a city official. Those appointments were by position. There would also be two citizens to represent the interests of the community. The Authority could be reconstructed to include Library Board Members, etc.
Dennis Neiman noted there were three general possibilities. Member DeRoche asked him to address the pros and cons of each possibility.
Mr. Neiman said:
Member DeRoche asked if a Building Authority had to be formed or could Council issue bonds administratively and put people in place to oversee the project? Mr. Neiman said Council had the ability to bring before electors a voted General Obligation Bond Issue such as was done with the roads. However, that would not get the Library the operating mills required to run it. PA 164 is original library act and this would allow Council to ask for millage to acquire, construct, furnish, equip, and operate the library facility. It would be a multi-purpose library proposition. If the voters approved, the City could levy it and a portion of it would be used to pay the debt on the Building Authority end and the rest would be used to cover operating expenses of the Library. Member DeRoche said under PA 164 they were allowed to pay the debt and operate with one assessment. It is a better way of doing business and Mr. Neiman said it was a simpler way.
Member Cassis said it might be helpful to get comparative views from other communities about their experience when they built their libraries.
Mr. Neiman stated in the late 1980’s Livonia built their Library and did millage and made it a part of their Charter. Then bonds were issued against a portion of that millage through the Building Authority. Most libraries have been done with straight general obligation bonds or with Building Authority Bonds against that portion of the millage.
Member Cassis wanted to know other community’s impressions of what they did and what they might do differently, etc. Mr. Klaver noted they did obtain those kinds of questions from other communities in regard to senior housing where specific communities were polled for this information and afterward the Building Authority was formed for Senior Housing. Member Cassis asked if there could be a hybrid of #2 which
is the use of the Library Board? Mr. Neiman said the Building Authority Act did not provide for that and noted Council could create additional spots for members of the
Library Board and when the project is done amend the Articles and eliminate those spots.
Member Kramer asked about timing for the process. Mr. Neiman noted once it’s approved, then it could be designed.
Member Csordas noted Council owed the Library Board to be on the ballot for November because, at the request of Council, they postponed their request to be on the ballot for the last election.
John Chambers noted the Board is appreciative of Mr. Klaver’s and Ms. Smith-Roy’s assistance with this and he wanted to keep up that level of expertise throughout. They wanted to use the expertise of their Board and Staff and share information back and forth. They were proposing some way to incorporate them into the Building Authority process to make sure that all expertise is utilized. The current library was built with the 1 mill and operated with that as well. They would like to stay on the current municipal site.
Mr. Neiman stated the Library Board would present the ballot language to the Council and they would send it to the County no later than mid-August for final determination.
Mr. Brunett commented a steering committee has been formed and they would have educational materials available to the public through the library.
Ms. Mutch commented they wanted the public to be aware of the Library Board’s support and commitment of this issue. The Library Board has certain responsibilities to educate the public and it is done primarily through the staff. The work of a campaign committee or citizens committee is a completely different thing. The staff does not contribute to that and any support would be coming from residents who happen to be staff members on their own town. The Campaign Committee is established and registered with the county as an a political Committee and is open to contributions which would be appreciated.
Member Kramer clarified that the Citizens Campaign Committee is not funded by tax dollars.
Jim Lawrence encouraged residents to tour the facility and compare it with newer facilities built nearby.
Brenda Evans thanked Council for the opportunity to meet and hear the expansion plans. She suggested looking at the new W. Bloomfield and Canton public libraries.
Member Cassis was impressed with his tour of the library and the professionalism of the staff, the amount of information and the items available even with congested areas. Looking forward to the items that would be available in the future. He would be very supportive of this as an institute of higher learning.
Member DeRoche commented the November ballot would be the appropriate time for this measure. He agreed with Member Cassis that the importance of the library in the
city would garner a lot of support from the community. He wanted to be see whatever was put forward in November pass and wanted everyone to feel comfortable with it and
get the library open in 2004. He would be supportive, wanted it to pass, and wanted it to be in step with the general consensus of the community.
Member Csordas stated Council owed the Library Board the opportunity to put the issue on the November ballot.
Member Kramer thanked the Library Board for their presentation and tour and for open discussion at the table this evening. He wanted everyone to put forth the effort to keep the communication open.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 8:35 PM.
Laura Lorenzo, Mayor Pro Tem Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by _________________________
Date approved: May 21, 2001