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REGULAR MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 9:07 PM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor Pro Tem Bononi, Council Members Capello, Csordas, DeRoche – absent/excused, Landry, Lorenzo
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Member Capello added #10 to Matters for Council Action – Part II, Schedule an Executive Session to discuss pending litigation.
Added to Mayor and Council issues:
#2, Letter from Barbara Worth Ratner regarding the boardwalk on Ten Mile by Member Landry.
#3 Attorney assignments and billings by Member Lorenzo
#4 Bart Wingblad letter regarding water runoff at Grand River and Beck by Member Capello
#5 Status of Sandstone Settlement by Member Capello
#6 Zoning Compliance Administrative Fee by Member Capello
#7 Resolution to the school district to install sidewalks on school properties by Member
Mr. Fisher removed Item #5 of Mayor and Council Action - Part II per request of Debra
Bundoff for time to review this matter. This matter would be carried over to the next meeting.
CM-02-08-244 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the agenda as amended.
Vote on CM-02-08-244 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo
SPECIAL REPORTS - None
COMMITTEE REPORTS - None
Proclamation for National Civic Participation Week September 11-17, 2002
Mayor Clark read the proclamation and proclaimed September 11-17, 2002 Civic Participation Week in Novi and urged residents and employees to participate.
PUBLIC HEARINGS - None
Mr. Helwig introduced Mr. Maurice, Environmental Services Manager who updated
everyone on the Sandstone Remediation Project-Removal of soil. Mr. Maurice advised
the project was progressing as scheduled and they are doing the first stage of soil
sampling to make sure enough of the excavation is done to go on to the next phase of
the project. Mr. Maurice said this is an interdepartmental project with members of Parks
and Recreation, DPW and Environmental Services involved and he introduced Matt
Wiktorowski of Parks, Recreation and Forestry and Jeff Van Curler of the DPW.
Mr. Wiktorowski showed slides and displayed a map of the Novi Park property and showed the 75-acre settlement area. They fenced off various areas of the property for clearing in preparation of remediation. The bird watchtower was dismantled and relocated at Lake Shore Park and would eventually be placed along bike trails. Perimeter fencing was established, No Trespassing Signs were put up and routine police and park staff patrolled the bike paths and recreation trails were rerouted. The 754 loop in the southwest corner of the property has been removed temporarily and they hoped to put it back into service very soon working with the Michigan Mountain Bike Association.
The first thing they did was protect the regulated wetlands by fencing them off, which allowed the site clearing company to see the stakes and proceed with caution. Perimeter fencing was up around the clearing limits and the arsenic removal area. Sixteen soil samples were taken out of the arsenic contaminated soil to test the existing levels and would serve as a benchmark for the companies that would do testing later. The undergrowth and large trees were removed and useable wood chips were kept separate from contaminated woodchips. There’s about 3,000 cubic yards of usable wood chips located adjacent to the Waste Water Treatment Plant on West Park Drive and they are available to the public from 8 AM to 5 PM daily. A map to the site is available at the City Clerk’s office and additional information is available at the City’s website. Slides were shown of roads that were built to insure there was no cross contamination, of the contaminated soil being removed and 12 inches from the existing grade was removed to insure the removal of all the arsenic. After the test results are received the original grade would be restored and the area would be reseeded.
Mr. Helwig said all the excavation of the arsenic defined area had been completed and soil tests in the field would determine if any further excavation work needed to be done.
Member Capello said it appeared Sandstone was objecting to the remediation schedule and asked where that stood? Mr. Fisher stated there were several issues pending with Sandstone relative to some of the technical issues on remediation. He thought that they were all governed by specific language of the agreement itself. He spoke about the DEQ action plan they prepared and submitted to the experts for Sandstone and filed with the DEQ and felt the DEQ would act on it this week. The action plan detailed the manner in which the testing, etc. would be carried out. The language of the document indicated that Sandstone, during the course of our testing, was entitled to notice of when
the testing would be done and be entitled to send an expert to the site to take duplicate samples to make sure the samples were proper. Sandstone experts have taken the view that they could go on the property and take samples anywhere they want. The agreement didn’t say that and if they pursued it that would materially delay the project. The agreement specifically said they are not entitled to delay us and that they are obligated to take duplicate samples only for limited purposes and let us know what the results were. Several weeks ago, the remediation schedule was given to them and they haven’t responded yet. They feel the City has the obligation to remove trees on the entire site rather then within the limited clearing areas shown on an exhibit attached to the agreement; that issue needs to be resolved. Mr. Fisher said there was only one rational interpretation of the agreement and that is that we have to remove the trees in the area we are utilizing and restore the arsenic area that is being remediated. There are other minor issues that are the subject of interpreting the agreement and they are trying to resolve this as quickly as possible. Mr. Capello asked what QQ was? Mr. Fisher said it was the post remediation grading plan and it was to demonstrate the final grade left would not create any additional wetland problems or alter the basic drainage pattern on site. Sandstone requested that the City be cooperative with them in an attempt to coordinate our grading work with the final grading work they desire to do for development purposes. We have indicated we would try to be cooperative but cost to the City had to be considered and the strict time deadlines the City had to meet and any cooperation we lend could not prejudice the City in those critical areas. Member Capello said he put this on the agenda because they needed direction from Council to take back to Sandstone. Mayor Clark stated that anywhere they take samples the City better take some also.
Mr. Helwig spoke about the Fire Station Training Center and said Council approved the agreement two weeks ago with Liberty Mutual and the agreement with Project Control Systems who has been selected as the contractor through the process overseen by Liberty Mutual. Today the agreement with Project Control Systems was signed and is ready for the Mayor’s signature based on this Council’s action. He expected the agreement with Liberty Mutual to be signed and executed this week and the contractor to start the Tuesday after Labor Day.
Mr. Helwig said he attended the August 13th rally in Lansing urging the legislators to override the Governor’s veto on Revenue Sharing. He met with Representative Cassis and Senator Bullard and thanked them for their support. This issue might be revisited before the year ends by a lame duck legislature so we need to be alert. He complimented the Michigan Municipal League for mobilizing the entire State for this purpose.
Mr. Helwig also attended the RCOC public hearing on their budget last Thursday. It was preceded by a meeting in which they approved the closure of the 12 Mile and Novi Road intersection for repaving and completion of underground utilities from September 14th through October 12th. Mr. Helwig said they would meet with all affected businesses tomorrow morning and there would be a direct mailing to every home within 1 Mile of that intersection. Also, Mr. Helwig testified supporting remaining funds in this fiscal year’s budget to complete 12 Mile Road Gap and funds to take down the bridge on
Grand River over the CXS Railroad tracks and to build the new bridge as well as. Also, during this next fiscal year, to improve the intersection of Grand River and Novi Road reaching westward to the bridge, Grand River from Novi Road to Beck Road would be under construction next year and impassable with the bridge down.
Member Csordas commented on the health insurance report that he had received. He said the City received an 18.75% increase in premiums and that was appropriate. He asked, by the next meeting or two, to have Tia or the agent for our carrier come in and clarify retention of administrative fees for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. He noted that the retention rate was $91 per employee per month for 160 participants with an annual retention of $127,541. Member Csordas said he worked for a health care company that charged $20 per month for that and they manage small to very large self-funded plans and their administration fee is $16 per month. He asked that the agent explain why the City would be paying $91.00 per month per employee. The employees have access to extremely rich plans that seem to be appropriately priced except for the retention.
Mayor Clark asked that this be a report item with the agent in attendance for the first or second meeting in September. Mr. Helwig replied he would arrange it.
Invitation to residents for "Fall for Novi" September 7, 2002 – Community Event
Sheryl Walsh, Community Relations Director invited all to attend the Fall for Novi event on Saturday, September 7th. It would take place from 9 AM until 2 PM and would include informational and educational booths by a variety of City staff, service organizations and Novi Community Schools. There would be homeowner and community workshops that would include health screenings by Providence Hospital, "Is Your Home Safe" by the Fire Department, how to start a neighborhood watch program, how to build or install it yourself, environmentally conscious fertilizers to improve yard drainage, etc. This event would also be taped and run on cable. The Police Department would also be hosting an open house with tours, fingerprinting and a variety of activities. The Fire Department would be on site with their equipment and there would be activities available for children such as games, moonwalk, petting farm, etc. provided by the Oakland County Parks and Recreation. It would also be Household Hazard Waste Day behind Ella Mae Power Park and residents could drop off their household hazard waste from 9 AM until 2 PM. The Novi Lions would have a refreshment tent available and at the Old Town Hall there would be a Fall Perennial exchange.
ATTORNEY - None
John Carbott, 25490 Birchwoods, spoke regarding SAD #164 and was against the special assessment. He said a petition was signed by 20 out of 34 homes and they had 38% of the assessed value that was in favor of stopping the SAD. He said the major, underlying reason for not wanting this SAD was the cost. He felt that 2/3rds or so of the people that signed the petition were interested in water and a ¼ or so did not want water. The cost for the water main was $11,700 per household and they thought it was outrageous. He had talked with Mr.
McCusker and Mr. Jerome after this was started and they discussed putting this on hold but the petition couldn’t be changed and the wording said to stop everything. He wished they had had some discussion up front about putting it on hold. He hoped Council would stop the SAD before the next public hearing.
Bidish Sarma, 25127 Birchwoods, spoke regarding SAD #164 and said originally when the petition to bring water to the community came about, it was more to see how much it would cost and not necessarily pushing ahead until the cost could be validated and they could tell the City that they were able to pay for it. He believed the new petition should be recognized as 60% of the residents felt strongly they could not afford the cost and it did not seem reasonable. He said a Michigan Supreme Court decision in 1986, the Dixon Road Group versus the City of Novi, held that "a determination of the increased market value of a piece of property after the improvement is necessary in order to determine whether or not the benefits derived from the Special Assessment are proportional to the cost incurred. There is general agreement that there is some proportionality between the amount of the special assessment and the benefits derived at there from." Mr. Sarma said it seemed unreasonable that $12,000 would have to go in for each household in the area to derive a minimal benefit in respect to that. He felt that property values in Novi were going up pretty fast but to really isolate the impact that improving the water in the area would have would probably not reach anywhere near $12,000. He asked Council for their consideration.
Effie Waldo, 24895 Dinser Drive, stated she also wanted the SAD stopped and agreed with the previous speakers.
Debbie Bundoff, Novi/Twelve Mile Road, understood that the Novi/Twelve Mile intersection would be closed but to find out this was discussed a couple of weeks ago was one of the problems when they go through the issue they were going through in their neighborhood now.
She is at ground zero and asked if she was welcome at the meeting tomorrow and asked what the meeting was about. One of the turnarounds that was temporary had been closed and another was supposed to be closed but people go through anyway. This would impact her and she needed to know what was going to happen. She was not one of the businesses but wanted to know if she was invited.
Karl Wizinsky, 26850 Wixom Road, wanted to talk about communication. A year ago he came to Council and talked about the lack of communication on the approval of the Target store. The entire process was approved and his notification came from the DEQ. As a 27 year resident no one called, wrote or talked to him. Today he was coming to Council to tell them a year later that communications had not improved that much to residents. Last week stakes were put out in front of his lawn that indicated a deceleration lane would be put in front of his home. On the preliminary site plan that he reviewed, there was no deceleration lane. He came in and reviewed the final site plan where there was a deceleration lane. It would take out three trees and cross his northern driveway. Once again, through the approval process and entire process, no one picked up a phone. The trees to be taken down were replacement trees for three large trees that were developed but he was told that the trees weren’t large enough to be replaced. He knew this was talked about in an earlier meeting but communication to residents was non-existent and continued to be.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
CM-02-08-245 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Bononi; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Consent Agenda Items B through D.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi removed Item A, meeting minutes for August 12th, for corrections to page 24.
Member Capello removed Item E for brief comments.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-245 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry,
B. Approval of Personal Property Contract with Oakland County Department of Equalization for tax years 2003 and 2004.
C. Approval to purchase renewal of Anti-Virus Software license package from CDW-Government, Inc., the low quotation, in the amount of $4,032.
D. Approval of Sanitary Sewer Service Agreement for Temporary Service Line Connection, A & B Properties, 250 Pleasant Cove .
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part I
1. Schedule a joint meeting between City Council and Planning Commission.
Mayor Clark advised Council that the Planning Commission suggested dates of October 23, 28 or 30th.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if it was urgent to have the meeting this soon or could this be scheduled for the first of the year? Mayor Clark asked Mr. Pearson if he could get a sense of what type of agenda items the Planning Commission had in mind before the next meeting. Mr. Pearson replied he would report back to Council.
CM-02-08-246 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION FAILED:
To postpone this item until the first meeting of Council
following the next Planning Commission meeting.
Member Capello said the Planning Commission wanted this meeting before June and waited because they felt it would be best to get the new commissioners on board first. He suggested Council pick one of the mentioned dates and move forward with the meeting with them. He thought there needed to be discussion between Council and the Commission. He suggested picking a tentative date and then if they wanted to cancel it based on their agenda that could be done. Member Capello felt that when he was on the
Commission, that Council ignored them and he was sure they were feeling the same way.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi thought it made sense to allow the Planning Commission to speak for themselves and felt the motion was in order.
Member Landry agreed with Member Capello and would like the meeting as soon as possible because Council had put it off a couple of times. This is a request from the Planning Commission, they want to meet with us and have suggested one of these three dates.
Mr. Pearson thought the original request came from Council and then the Planning Commission asked to wait until their appointments were made and seated and now it is back to Council.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-247 Yeas: Bononi, Lorenzo
Nays: Capello, Csordas, Landry, Clark
CM-02-08-0248 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule a joint meeting of the Planning
Commission and Council on Wednesday, October 30, 2002 at
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-248 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark,
2. Consideration of acceptance of water main and sanitary sewer systems
constructed to service the Maple Place Shopping Center as public utilities and
acceptance of all documents conveying such facilities to the City of Novi,
along with all easements mandatory for City acceptance, as reviewed and
approved by the City Attorney.
CM-02-08-249 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve acceptance of water main and
sanitary sewer systems constructed to service the Maple
Place Shopping Center as public utilities and acceptance of all
documents conveying such facilities to the City of Novi,
along with all easements mandatory for City acceptance, as
reviewed and approved by the City Attorney.
Member Capello asked why it has taken this long to get to this point; is this still cleaning up stuff from the past administration? He was informed it was and there was more to come.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi stated in reference to a February 28th letter from JCK that referred to a certification that the water main was built in the location as provided, she asked Mr. McCusker if they look for other certifications other than it was where they said it would be? Mr. McCusker said part of it was that it would go in under our direction and engineering standards and it is inspected as part of the site plan when it goes in. Their certification is that it went into the place it was directed to go and it functions the way it should. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi requested he bring forward an ordinance or policy to do exactly what Mr. McCusker said.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-249 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION – Part II
3. Approval of right-of-way acquisitions and grading easements for road and utility improvements – Grand River: Beck Road to CSX Bridge.
Grading Permits, Drainage Easements/Right-of-Entry – Total: $36,141.00
Stanley and Gladys Hayes Grading Permit $2,800.00
22-15-301-008 Highway and Utility Easement $ 600.00
Drainage Easement $2,060.00
Jack Anglin Co. Driveway Grading Permit $ 1.00
Clare Investments (O’Shea) Option Agreement $14,800.00
Johnson Group LLC Highway and Utility Easement $ 1,719.00
33-16-451-067 Grading Permit $ 2,550.00
Non-Motorized Pathway Easement 1.00
Ward Grading Permit $ 6,300.00
Novi Business Associates Grading Permit $ 5,310.00
CM-02-08-250 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve right-of-way acquisitions and
grading easements for road and utility improvements – Grand
River: Beck Road to CSX Bridge. To include Grading Permits,
Drainage Easements/Right-of-Entry – Total: $36,141.00
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-250 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello,
Csordas Nays: None
4. Approval of Resolution concerning the acquisition of property and
Declaration of Necessity and Taking – Grand River: Beck Road to CXS
Grading Permits – Total: $3,170.00
Secom General Corp Grading Permit $1,200.00
Dwight Lynn Trust Grading Permit $ 100.00
Theresa A. Lynn Trust Grading Permit $1,870.00
CM-02-08-251 Moved by Landry, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To approve Resolution concerning the
acquisition of property and Declaration of Necessity and
Taking – Grand River: Beck Road to CXS Bridge Grading
Permits – Totalng $3,170.00
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked, regarding the late Summer 2002 bidding, was there an
estimated date of completion? Mr. Pearson said construction should start at the first of the year. This should be under construction by next Spring/Summer and completed by Fall 2003 according to the State Letting schedule.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-251 Yeas: Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas,
5. Approval of Consent Agreement with Debra Bundoff for Installation of
sewer and water leads and release of an unneeded easement (SAD 155) –
Removed by Attorney Fisher at the request of Ms. Bundoff.
*Council member Landry exited the room.
6. Approval of Ordinance No. 02-100.29, to amend ordinance code to confirm and clarify ordinance interpretations for election signs. 2nd Reading & Adoption.
CM-02-08-252 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Ordinance No. 02-100.29, to amend ordinance code to
confirm and clarify ordinance interpretations for election signs. 2nd
Reading & Adoption.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-252 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Lorenzo
Absent: DeRoche, *Landry
*Council member Landry returned to the room.
7. Approval of Ordinance No. 02-99.13, Amendment to the Fire Prevention and Protection Standards – Chapter 15 of the Code of Ordinances, to adopt the 2000 International Fire Code as the fire prevention code for the City of Novi. 2nd Reading & Adoption.
CM-02-08-253 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Ordinance No. 02-99.13, Amendment to the Fire
Prevention and Protection Standards – Chapter 15 of the Code of
Ordinances, to adopt the 2000 International Fire Code as the fire
prevention code for the City of Novi. 2nd Reading & Adoption.
Member Csordas asked if this included the requirement for the number of fire personnel on a
vehicle? Mr. Helwig said it did not.
Mayor Clark said the proposed adoption of this ordinance would not mandate certain
designated manpower in the Fire Department. Mr. Helwig said that’s correct and that
municipalities all over the country are protesting the NFPA standard that was proposed.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked if there were any personnel or staff related implications in this?
Chief Lenaghan said this is a construction code and by adopting this it would make it
compatible with our current building code and this has nothing to do with operations.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-253 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo,
8. Approval of Ordinance No. 02-124.09, Amendment to the Design and Construction Standards; Chapter 11 of the Code of Ordinances; Article III Water Mains, Article VII Streets, Roadways and General Right-of-Way Requirements; Article X Parking Lot and Driveway Pavement. 2nd Reading & Adoption.
CM-02-08-254 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Ordinance No. 02-124.09, Amendment to the Design and
Construction Standards; Chapter 11 of the Code of Ordinances;
Article III Water Mains, Article VII Streets, Roadways and General
Right-of-Way Requirements; Article X Parking Lot and Driveway
Pavement. 2nd Reading & Adoption.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-254 Yeas: Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi
9. Schedule a special Council meeting on Monday, September 9, 2002, at 7:15 p.m., for the purpose of interviewing candidates for the Storm Water Management & Watershed Stewardship Committee.
CM-02-08-255 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To schedule a special Council meeting on Monday, September 9,
2002, at 7:15 p.m., for the purpose of interviewing candidates for the
Storm Water Management & Watershed Stewardship Committee.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-255 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello
10. Schedule an Executive Session to discuss pending litigation.
Council discussed that an Executive session in order to discuss pending litigation was necessary. Attorney Fisher agreed and suggested, if there was unfinished business at the end of the 6:00 p.m. meeting, Council could re-convene after the regular meeting. Member Capello suggested Mr. Fisher have a prioritized list of importance of litigation. Mr. Fisher agreed. Member Capello said there is pending litigation and insurance litigation, which he was not too concerned with because liability was limited but there are significant non-litigation claims and tax tribunal cases. He asked Mr. Fisher to prioritize the tax tribunal cases also. Mr. Fisher suggested that Mr. Lemmon also attend the meeting.
CM-02-08-256 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To schedule an Executive Session to discuss
pending litigation for September 9th at 6:00 PM.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-256 Yeas: Landry, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello,
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION: (Consent Agenda items, which have been removed for discussion and/or action)
A. Approval of Minutes of August 12, 2002, Regular City Council meeting - Bononi
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi offered corrections on Page 24, fourth paragraph, fifth line "smart goals" should be "smart growth. Same paragraph, fourth line from the bottom, "this is not out project" should be "our project".
CM-02-08-257 Moved by Bononi, seconded by Csordas; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve the minutes of August 12, 2002 as amended.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-257 Yeas: Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas,
E. Approval of Claims and Accounts – Warrant No. 630. - Capello
Member Capello said in this warrant there is approximately $11,000 being paid to Ameritech. Six months ago Member Capello transferred all of his local service over to A T & T local and long distance and his bill was cut in half. He suggested they look into this. Also, Northern Lights is reselling Detroit Edison and Member Capello looked at that contract and it also was an incredible savings. He suggested looking at repurchasing at one of those second suppliers too.
CM-02-08-258 Moved by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To approve Claims and Accounts Warrant No. 630.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-258 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry, Lorenzo
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Westmont Village Developer Performance Bond Issues – Mayor Pro Tem Bononi
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi advised that this has been discussed with Mr. Helwig, Mr. Pearson and City engineer Nancy McClain. She would appreciate it if Westmont Village resident, Mr. Steve Wegryn, the person who brought the question and the problem and proposed solutions would approach and show pictures that would explain the situation.
She had visited the site with Mr. Wegryn, Mr. McCusker and Mr. Pearson. This is a situation where there are unresolved drainage issues in rear yards and a rather extreme drainage issue in the street of an undetermined origin. Also, there are deteriorating pavements, which Mr. McCusker and Ms. McClain would address. The problem with that is that the performance
bonds were reduced to such a small amount that it is probably impossible to make the repairs that need to be made in the area with the money that is left.
Steve Wegryn, 24045 Westmont Drive, said he had been writing letters to the City for about five years about this issue. He showed Council pictures of his home and the water in front of his house on a daily basis all year around. There’s a drain there but the water flows away from the drain. Mr. Wegryn advised Council of a punch list, which was forwarded to the developer, Mr. Lewiston, from JCK. Mr. Pearson provided Mr. Wegryn with this list. Mr. Wegryn said the punch list consisted of two pages of notes from JCK regarding joint deterioration at certain stations and there has been no action taken. He said they received a letter, May 14, 2001, that the City was pending the acceptance of the roads and street utilities from the developer and if there were any question to send a letter. Mr. Wegryn and many other Westmont residents sent letters. He had a letters from neighbors Susan Giacobbe, Kevin Cody, Mr. & Mrs. Randy Rodriguez and Kevin and Lisa Moss also wrote about their drainage problems. Mr. Wegryn read his letter of May 22, 2001 regarding acceptance of Westmont streets, Westmont Village 1 through 3 in response to the City’s letter of May 14th. He asked that Mr. Nowicki, Cindy Uglow and John Akin and the "copy to" parties listed to drive through their neighborhood and look at the streets as they are in horrible condition and in desperate need of repair. He said Westmont Drive was the worst but these same problems were in all the other subdivisions in the area. These drainage problems are creating health and safety hazards. He encouraged Council to walk down Westmont Drive to observe these conditions. He spoke for all saying they would be livid if they were assessed anything subsequent to the City accepting responsibility for the streets and utilities. A tremendous amount of taxes are paid each year from Westmont residents and they demanded the best and felt Council should too. He demanded that the road and drainage problems be fixed prior to the City assuming responsibility. He suggested edge drains along the curb to the storm sewers, which would go a long way to eliminate the drainage issues and protect the roads. Mr. Wegryn said he was looking for accountability; it is time to own it, solve it and do it.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi was most interested in the acceptance of the streets under these circumstances. Mr. Pearson said this has been long standing and needed to be addressed. He had reviewed the outstanding financial guarantee and it was his understanding that Mr. McCusker and others had testing done to find out what exactly had to be fixed from the punch list and residents comments. He said they were in the process of an evaluation of the situation and coming up with a plan. Mayor Pro Tem Bononi asked for a report in a reasonable amount of time about what the resolution might be. Mr. Pearson agreed.
Mayor Clark said there was money left in the performance bond and asked Mr. Fisher to strongly encourage the developer to take care of this problem immediately. Mr. Fisher said he would pursue it. Mr. Pearson said there have been discussions with the developer and they would report fully on that as well. Mayor Clark felt that no developer should get a dime back until everything on the punch list was completed. This situation is inexcusable and we have to do something. It is unacceptable that citizens have tried for five years to get some relief.
Member Lorenzo wanted to know who received the mentioned communications and why Council had not received them and who, if anyone, from staff responded to them and how? Mr. Helwig said he would pursue that. The letter on the screen was addressed to Haim Schlick. Mr. Wegryn said he had sent numerous letters to Mr. Schlick and had corresponded with Mr. Pearson a couple times. Something of this magnitude should have been brought to
Council under communications. Member Lorenzo said any time staff received complaints from citizens, it should be in Council packets so they could follow along. Mr. Helwig said no one
should be suffering for five years, he apologized and said they would try to quickly turn it around.
Member Capello asked who the developer and builder was? Mr. Wegryn said the developer was Richard Lewiston and the builders were Cohen and Creshendo. Member Capello thought some of the responsibility might be that of the builder because final grade was probably their responsibility. He said there was still $23,000 in bond but we are not limited to the amount of the bond and could still go back after the developer if they were solvent and require them to bring the roads and sewer up to standards or sue them for whatever in excess of $23,000 it would take. Mr. Fisher said that was a possibility depending on the exact circumstances and the cost of litigation. Member Capello thought it should be incorporated into the ordinance that subdivision roads should be asphalt as the developer puts in the concrete roads before the subdivision is completed and they get beat up. Asphalt is easier to maintain and if cracked are easier to fix.
2, Letter from Barbara Worth Ratner regarding the boardwalk on Ten Mile by Member Landry.
Member Landry said there had been discussion about the utility of pedestrian pathways and bike paths and that the City is committed to making sure that all areas of the City are accessible by all of our residents. He read the letter from Barbara Worth Ratner of Atlanta, Georgia regarding the new boardwalk on Ten Mile Road into the record. She sent a photograph of her and her sister on the boardwalk that was displayed for Council.
My sister, Sarah Eddy, has been a resident at Whitehall Health Care, 43455 W. Ten Mile Road for almost two years. She is young, has MS and is bedridden. My other sister, Mary, and I live out of State and have been meeting in Novi to see Sarah and take her out if we can. We have used the Novi City’s inexpensive van rides to take her to movies but for two years we have been looking at the sidewalk that stopped at the west edge of the wetlands west of Whitehall and wishing it could be connected to Whitehall’s parking lot. You have built our wish and it is magnificent. On our last visit the three of us rolled out to the middle of the boardwalk and watched the marsh for 45 minutes. Sarah has always loved birds so the marsh could not be more perfect. Now she has a nature center within easy rolling distance and we look forward to seeing it in all the seasons. I enclose a picture of my Sarah and my sister Mary. While we were there a great egret came in for a landing. Next visit we may go up to the corner because I think the gas station has a cappuccino machine. Sarah’s world is very small and you folks have made it far bigger. You probably didn’t know a small thing like a sidewalk could mean so much to anyone and I wanted you to know.
With thanks and gratitude,
Barbara Worth Ratner for Mary Worth Everett and Sarah Worth Eddy.
3. Attorney assignments and billings by Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo said the information requested from the attorneys regarding their fees was received in the Thursday Council packet and she had some comments and questions. In her opinion, far too many people have access to Attorney Fisher. Developers and developer’s attorneys are freely calling Mr. Fisher and his staff and they call them in return and then bill the City of Novi. Mr. Helwig has said he would control legal costs and she thought the development community needed to know that questions regarding planning or zoning issues should go to the appropriate parties and if the administration finds some question they can’t answer, except through Mr. Fisher’s office, then it should be up to the administration to contact Mr. Fisher and get the answer to that question. We can’t have the taxpayers paying for developer questions. Secondly, under the heading of RUD’s and specifically Maybury RUD, the billings just through May and June are more than $4,500 to the taxpayers of the City of Novi. Mr. Fisher should be aware that by ordinance it is up to the developer, the applicant, to prepare the RUD agreement. That is on page 32-73, under the RUD #9, City Council Review. "City Council may move to grant the application of the RUD, which would serve as preliminary approval of the RUD application. When such approval is given, the City Council shall instruct the applicant to have prepared for review and approval by the City’s legal counsel a contract." According to the ordinance, anything relating to an RUD contract should be coming from the applicant. If the applicant wanted to revise it, he should come forward saying he wants to revise it, provide a revised contract and Mr. Fisher’s office should be reviewing the contents of that to make sure the verbiage is in the best interests of the City of Novi. If not, a memo should be sent stating these are the conditions that should be included and the other attorney should prepare that and then it should come to Council. Mr. Fisher’s firm should not be drafting and redrafting this. This has been going on since February and there have been many billings from Maybury RUD. These have to cease.
With regard to any payback ordinance, that is within Council’s purview and we set the conditions of that ordinance. She asked Mr. Fisher, for example, February 2002 sewage legislation, the overflow ordinance and issues. There are several issues in the February billing related to that. The concern she had was there seemed to be several billings for revisions of materials. She thought it was an inordinate amount. How many revisions and preparation materials can there be to go over it five or six times? She said she would appreciate it if Mr. Fisher’s office would be more judicious about the amount of time they spent on these things. She asked if someone from Mr. Fisher’s office attended a conference, was the City billed for it? Mr. Fisher said no, this was a conference they presented here. They do not bill the City when they attend a conference. She asked if materials they use for conferences are used in other communities or vice versa? Mr. Fisher said where materials could be utilized in more than one community, they would prepare a model that could be used in all communities generally and then share the time for that and they bill proportionally. Then they revise them to form to the needs of the community. Mr. Fisher said that is what they are doing now with the zoning ordinance proposal that must be in place by the end of the year for open space zoning. Member Lorenzo said citizens have had access to Mr. Fisher and they should not.
Mr. Helwig said in addition to what Council might make as far as contact with Mr. Fisher there are five entry points to Mr. Fisher, which are Ms. Cornelius, Mr. Lemmon, Mr. Klaver, Mr. Pearson and himself. Mayor Clark felt once Sandstone was put to rest, a lot of the bills would go down substantially.
Member Csordas thought contact with citizens should be taken into serious consideration and he agreed citizens should not have access to the City attorney.
4. Bart Wingblad letter regarding water runoff at Grand River and Beck by Member
Member Capello had an August 1st letter from Mr. Wingblad who had property at the northeast corner of Grand River and Beck. His letter states that because of the construction of Grand River and the change in the elevation that water was no longer draining properly. There is an existing storm structure on the southeast corner of his property. He didn’t think it was the City’s responsibility, but thought they should look at it. It sounded like a simple fix, if the equipment was out there, and seemed that a ditch was needed into the existing storm structure his needs would be satisfied. He thought it was probably the County’s responsibility.
5. Status of Sandstone Settlement by Member Capello
Member Capello wanted to know if Council wanted to give Administration or Mr. Fisher any further direction. It seemed like the chain was being pulled again and Sandstone needed to be sent some kind of message that the chain was at its length and jerking it would do no good.
Member Lorenzo asked who the arbiter of this was and suggested going to them. Mayor Clark said that would not be free. She said we are spending money even when Mr. Fisher fires off an e-mail so if there is a disagreement that was not going to be resolved, then we need to get someone else involved. Mayor Clark agreed, but felt before doing that they had to see what they were really talking about. He thought Mr. Fisher said several of them were very minor things that hopefully could be worked out. He thought there was consensus of Council that if they don’t work out and we have to, we will utilize the procedure they insisted on. She said that’s what Council needed to let them know.
Member Landry said the problem with going to an arbiter now was you would cease the activity that is the subject of the dispute and we don’t want to do that. We want to continue the remediation efforts. We believe that we are abiding by the agreement. If they want to complain let them run to the arbiter. Member Capello asked what the quit claims deeds issue was? They want quit claim deeds ahead of closing and then replace them with warranty deeds at closing. He didn’t remember anything in the agreement about it. Mr. Fisher said there is nothing in the agreement about it. Member Capello said any favors they ask must come before Council and Mr. Fisher agreed.
6. Zoning Compliance Administration Fee by Member Capello
Member Capello said he, Mr. Fisher and Mr. Helwig met with three of the District Court Judges several months ago, and talked about ways to recoup some of the costs the City expends in enforcement of civil infractions and ordinances. One thing they suggested that other communities use is in their ordinance, they create some kind of administrative fee if there is a violation. The District Court Judges said they don’t enforce it but cities send out notices and most of the time they get their money. He asked that Council direct Mr. Fisher to draft a provision into our ordinances both civil infraction and zoning violations that at some point in time, an administration fee of $125 or $200 or whatever would kick in.
CM-02-08-259 Moved by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY:
To direct Mr. Fisher to submit an opinion on a provision to the
ordinances for civil infraction and zoning violation that an
administration fee, between $125 and $200 would be charged
for such violations.
Mayor Pro Tem Bononi would be interested in this but requested more backup information and an opinion from Mr. Fisher. Friendly amendment was accepted by motion maker.
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-259 Yeas: Clark, Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry,
7. Resolution to the school district to install sidewalks on school properties by Member
Member Capello requested that Council direct the administration draft a resolution to the school board to install sidewalks on school properties as he has noticed that there are no sidewalks in front of a lot of the school buildings such as the Middle school and Parkview on Eleven Mile Road. He had discussed this with a couple school board members and the school does have some money now with the $75 million we just gave them.
Mr. Helwig said there was a conversation about the Middle school in particular and they were preparing to put a sidewalk in and whether they wanted our participation to go in front of the park that is parkland. He said he wanted to check on the status of that. Member Capello said that was one of the ones he talked to them about but we have Parkview too.
CM-02-08-260 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; CARRIED
UNANIMOUSLY: To direct the administration to draft a
resolution to the school board to install sidewalks on school
Roll call vote on CM-02-08-260 Yeas: Bononi, Capello, Csordas, Landry,
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - None
There being no further business to come before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 11:02 PM.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by: ____________________________
Date approved: September 9, 2002