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REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI CITY COUNCIL
Mayor Csordas called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
ROLL CALL: Mayor Csordas, Mayor Pro Tem Landry, Council Members Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo*, Nagy* and Paul*
ALSO PRESENT: Rick Helwig Ė City Manager
Craig Klaver Ė Chief Operating Officer
Tom Schultz Ė City Attorney
Benny McCusker Ė Public Works Director
Kathy Smith-Roy Ė Finance Director
Barb McBeth Ė Planning Director
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
Mayor Pro Tem Landry added under Mayor and Council Item No. 1, "Autumn Park Situation with the Drainage"; Member Capello added Item No. 2, "Move December 13th Boards and Commissions Interviews to December 20th and Item No. 3, "Sidewalk Ordinance".
CM-04-12-423 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-04-12-423 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
Mayor Csordas announced that the City had another certificate of appreciation to absolutely the best business citizens in the City, Providence Hospital and Rob Casalou and all of his staff. He said they continuously did great things for the City; they were always stepping up to the plate and helping with all kinds of events. As a matter of fact, Providence was one of the Platinum Sponsors for the Main Street Christmas Parade, which was a significant investment. Mayor Csordas said that Providence and Mr. Casalou continuously amazed the City, and the City appreciated all that they did.
The certificate of appreciation awarded to Providence Hospital was in recognition for valuable contributions of three Automated External Defibrillators (AED) to the City. Those medical devices provided an invaluable service to the Novi community by allowing the Fire Department personnel to automatically analyze a cardiac arrest victimís heart rhythm and deliver a shock when appropriate. Mayor Csordas stated that it was one of the many things that Providence Hospital, St. John Health System, and Rob and his staff did for the community.
Mr. Casalou said that it was very easy to do this in communities, but they particularly liked to do it in a community that thought it was important. He said the Fire Department and the Police Department embraced this and actually had a great example of saving a life that they had seen on their cable show; it worked. He wanted to let the citizens know that Providence was not stopping there; it was placing other defibrillators in the Novi Expo, a couple of local churches, and the Novi High School. He said it would continue to do so until all the public areas of Novi were covered.
Mayor Csordas stated that the City was truly blessed to have corporate residents like Providence Hospital and a number of other entities.
1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE Ė None
2. CITY MANAGER
Mr. Helwig stated that, as mentioned at the last Council meeting, Administration would very much like to follow through on Councilís desire to have a fresh goal setting session; he said those had been done at two-year intervals. He said that in order to assist the City in the budget preparation, Administration would like, if at all possible, to schedule it in January; he realized January was a very full month. He said it would help Administration be more responsive in its budget recommendations to Council if the date could be set in January; historically, it had been done the last two times on a Saturday. He said it normally took three or four hours, if Council members came with short- and long-term goals in mind, with 18 months being the timetable that had been used in the past; it helped the process move along. So, three or four hours were what had been done in the past; if Council needed two sessions, it needed two sessions.
Mayor Csordas stated that they were very important meetings for the City; he noted that on Saturday, the 29th, there was the homeowners leadersí breakfast, so that would knock that day out.
Mr. Helwig answered that he thought so, since that was a very important networking time and recognition time with our neighborhood leaders.
A brief discussion followed to determine what dates would work.
Mayor Csordas said it looked like everyone would be available for the 8th, so the first session would be on the 8th.
Mr. Helwig stated that a second session may or may not be necessary; as he recalled, they had been able to do it in one session in the past. He suggested to schedule from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; if Council finished sooner, so be it.
Mayor Csordas stated that it would be from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on January 8th.
3. DEPARTMENTAL Ė None
Mr. Schultz stated that Mr. Helwig had asked him to go over the Target/Novi Promenade update, which was at Councilís places. He also thought Council had gotten a flavor for it on the monthly attorney report, as well. He said the bottom line from Secrestís perspective was that they had had a number of meetings involving Secrestís office and City staff since the matter was last addressed back in October.
He said they were at a point where things were in place or shortly would be for replacing the temporary Certificate of Occupancy that Target now had with a final Certificate of Occupancy. He said the open issues last time, a report was made to Council where the woodlands and wetlands questions had been worked out. He stated the real log jam was sort of a sticking point in the relationship between Target and Novi Promenade; they had been involved in federal litigation over that site; he thought that with the Councilís insistence that that be resolved, Secrest was able to get the issues resolved. He said the woodland donation into the tree fund would be made by Landon or Promenade; he said they would also post an appropriate wetland bond, which would be 200 percent of what the City expected the value of the remaining plantings would be, which was the last item. He said that under the Cityís zoning ordinance, that permitted a final C of O to be granted.
Mr. Schultz said that the last issue that was still being worked on was the acceptance documents for water and sewer easements, basically; he said those were on-target and would not hold up the final C of O. The bottom line, Secrest expected the C of O to be issued within the timeframe and considered the matter pretty much near resolution.
Mayor Csordas asked what would happen if one or some of those things donít fall into place by January 1.
Mr. Schultz answered that in the document attached was the promise of Landon and Target to make sure that they fell into place; the City did have money but the bonds were replacement bonds. He said if Landon didnít post the $350,000, the City was holding more than that of Targetís money, which would be acted upon appropriately. He thought it would be nice to be able to say today that it was done, but there was certainly agreement on the issues and it was well beyond where the City was before.
Mayor Csordas said that he had read somewhere that the bonds were 200 percent of the required whatever it took to finish that.
Mr. Schultz answered yes.
Mayor Csordas stated that there was a possibility that if some of the stuff didnít come to fruition and something didnít fall through, he asked if the City would be required to shut down Target.
Mr. Schultz answered that the City would actually have double the money needed to do the plantings itself. He said that if it didnít have compliance by the time the City wanted it, that was what it would do.
Wayne Hogan, a Novi resident, stated that snow removal season had arrived. He said that last year the City had a very poor snow removal process; it was so poor that citizens demanded action and the City spoke to the removal individuals, and it improved for about two snowfalls. Then it fell back to worse conditions than it had been before. He said the major issue was when the plows went past curb cuts, they left about 20-25 inches of snow behind; that was packed snow, because it was impacting the snow as it went along, leaving packed, hard, icy snow behind. He said the walking, as well as the rolling had problems traversing that type of mound. It was extremely bad down in the Main Street area; people who had strollers couldnít use it; people who were walking; people who had mobility issues; people who had wheelchairs couldnít traverse it. He asked that the barriers be prevented in the first place by having the snow removal individuals clear off those curb cuts at the passenger or the walking pathways and at the driveways this year in the beginning so they could try to keep a good standard all year long.
Mayor Csordas stated that he didnít know if that was practically possible, actually, to remove snow from the driveways, etc. He couldnít imagine that anybody that was plowing the streets could actually get out of the truck and go back and plow that.
Mr. Helwig answered that the sense of many cities in downtown areas might do a special effort where there was heavy pedestrian traffic or something like that; in neighborhoods, it really became the responsibility of the homeowner to clear the sidewalk. He said Administration always appreciated citizen input and would talk with Public Works leadership to relate again to what was done last year to see if there was any improvement the City could make to help.
*Member Lorenzo arrived at 7:11 p.m.
*Member Nagy arrived at 7:12 p.m.
CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)
Member Lorenzo removed Item D, "Approval to apply for and accept a Detroit Edison Tree Planting, Grant". Member Lorenzo added Item No. Four, "Target Final Certificate of Occupancy" and Number Five, "Council Meeting Start Time" to Mayor and Council Issues.
CM-04-12-424 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello: To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.
Voice Vote on CM-04-12-424 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY; ONE ABSENT
CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerkís Office)
A. Approve Minutes of:
1. November 22, 2004, Regular meeting
B. Schedule Executive Session to be held in the Council Annex immediately following the regular meeting of December 6, 2004 for the purpose of discussing pending litigation.
C. Approval of Final Pay Estimate No. 8 and Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 to Rothenberger Company for the Taft Road Phase I water main, I- 96 Crossing from West Park Drive to Grand River Avenue, in the amount of $13,990.36 including retainage interest in the amount of $160.84.
E. Approval of Storm Drainage Maintenance Agreement between the City of Novi and Toll Brothers II Limited Partnership, Island Lake of Novi Community Association and/or Island Lake South Harbor Association establishing terms and conditions for the maintenance of storm water elements of the storm water drainage system installed within Island Lake South Harbor, Phase 3D of Island Lake RUD.
F. Approval of Storm Drainage Maintenance Agreement between the City of Novi and Toll Brothers II Limited Partnership, Island Lake of Novi Community Association and/or Island Lake Orchards Association establishing terms and conditions for the maintenance of storm water elements of the storm water drainage system installed within Island Lake Orchards, Phases 4A, 5A, 4B-1 and 5B of Island Lake RUD.
G. Approval to exercise first renewal for Law Maintenance Contract to B & B Lawn Service, the awarded contractor, based on original bid pricing and lowered pricing as attached.
H. Approval of release of sanitary sewer easement previously granted by Central Park Estates for the installation of sanitary sewer over parcel 50- 22-16-300-005 and approval of revised easement from Central Park Estates for the installation of sanitary sewer in parcel 50-22-16-300-054.
I. Approval of resolution to authorize the purchase of additional service credit by the employee.
J. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 686.
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė PART I
1. Consideration of request from RT Detroit Franchise, LLC (Ruby Tuesday) to transfer location of 2004 Class C liquor license in escrow from 28654 Telegraph, Space C-101, Southfield, MI to 39581 Twelve Mile (Cooker Restaurant site), Novi, MI.
CM-04-12-425 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED: To approve request from RT Detroit Franchise, LLC (Ruby Tuesday) to transfer location of 2004 Class C liquor license in escrow from 28654 Telegraph, Space C-101, Southfield, MI to 39581 Twelve Mile (Cooker Restaurant site), Novi, MI.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-425 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
2. Consideration of request from Novi Cocktail Lounge, LLC to transfer ownership of 2004 Class C liquor license in escrow from Sign of the Beefcarver, Madison Heights, MI to Mixx Lounge, 43155 Main Street, Suite 502, Novi, MI, with dance-entertainment permit.
CM-04-12-426 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION CARRIED: To approve request from Novi Cocktail Lounge, LLC to transfer ownership of 2004 Class C liquor license in escrow from Sign of the Beefcarver, Madison Heights, MI to Mixx Lounge, 43155 Main Street, Suite 502, Novi, MI, with dance-entertainment permit.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-426 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Lorenzo, Nagy, Csordas
3. Approval of Ordinance No. 04-171.01, Chapter 2, Article VII, Section 2- 210, and associated resolution, to amend requirements, obligations and fee amounts for the private payment of "Escrow" legal review expenses. Second Reading
CM-04-12-427 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; MOTION CARRIED: To approve Ordinance No. 04-171.01, Chapter 2, Article VII, Section 2-210, and associated resolution, to amend requirements, obligations and fee amounts for the private payment of "Escrow" legal review expenses, and to amend the ordinance to read, "the Finance Department" in place of "the Finance Director".
Mayor Csordas had a question on page two, Item No. 5, third paragraph down under collection and notice, and he noticed that it carried down into Section No. 6 also, it said "the Finance Director shall collect" and in Article No. 6, about eight sentences in there it said, "the City Finance director shall thereafter from time-to-time as requested in such estimate, invoice", etc. Then further down it kept referring to the Finance Director. He asked if that meant that the Finance Director was responsible for collecting, invoicing and paying the escrow, watching that flow.
Mr. Helwig answered through her accounting agents, treasury agents, yes.
Mayor Csordas asked if that was that appropriate. He wanted to know if there was a check and balance there.
Mr. Helwig answered that there was a check and balance when you looked at Treasury, when you looked at accounting; there were different division managers overseeing those responsibilities.
Mayor Csordas asked if that could be changed to the Finance Department.
Mr. Helwig answered that it could read the Finance Department.
Mayor Csordas said that way there wasnít one person called out. He asked if the maker of the motion would accept that.
Member Lorenzo said that she would accept that.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that he would accept that.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-427 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
Nagy, Csordas, Landry
4. Approval to purchase one (1) Crown Victoria patrol vehicle through the Macomb County Joint Purchasing Program from Signature Ford in the amount of $20,058, and two (2) Chevrolet Tahoes through the Oakland County Joint Purchasing Program in the amount of $54,735.88 from Shaheen Chevrolet for a total expenditure of $74,793.88.
CM-04-12-428 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION CARRIED: To purchase one (1) Crown Victoria patrol vehicle through the Macomb County Joint Purchasing Program from Signature Ford in the amount of $20,058, and two (2) Chevrolet Tahoes through the Oakland County Joint Purchasing Program in the amount of $54,735.88 from Shaheen Chevrolet for a total expenditure of $74,793.88.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-428 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy,
Csordas, Landry, Capello
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION -- None
MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė PART II
5. Discussion of whether to proceed with preparing documents to process dedication of Vista Hills Subdivision for City acceptance of ownership of streets as public.
*Member Paul arrived at 7:33 p.m.
Bill Osip, representing Vista Hills Subdivision, gave a background. He said it was a relatively small subdivision, 144 homes, less than 1.3 miles of roads. He said it was the first Phase of the famed "Planned Urban Development" that was put together probably 10-12 years ago. It was supposed to be a multiple phase, 600-homes along with retail space; there were a number of things that were going to be brought into this. He said it was an exciting, novel place to live; it had a nice lake, but needless to say, it didnít quite go through as planned. He said they were the first phase and the last phase, and the developer just walked away.
Mr. Osip stated that there were a couple of reasons why City Council should consider accepting Vista Hills. First of all, it was a safety issue; unenforceable traffic law speeding issues. He said he could drive 100 miles per hour from his street around his subdivision and there was not anything anyone could do about it. He and his wife had four children; there was a ton of children in the neighborhood and he feared for their safety sometimes.
Mr. Osip stated that number two, they pay the same taxes as any other subdivision in the City. For anyone who owns City-owned streets, they didnít get a break for owning their own streets. Again, he said Vista Hills was willing to work with Mr. McCusker and the DPW on a punch list to bring the streets up to the City standards, and he said they would pay for that. He said they had already contracted private snow removal for this year; they would need nothing for this year. He said the Haverhill precedent was a very similar situation, accepting roads from an ownerís situation. He certainly understood it was not the identical situation, as there were no two situations that were identical.
Mr. Osip stated that a City existed to supply basic City services to all residents; he thought that was a very important thing that the City needed to understand. He took a look at the history, based on what Clay Pearson and Mr. McCusker put together, and, as he respected the package that they put together, he wanted to make a couple of comments on that package.
One of the things that they mentioned was only sidewalks on one side of the street; he understood that but there were subdivisions in the City that didnít have sidewalks at all. He said that the issue about snow buildup on the sidewalk side; he lived on the sidewalk side and in eight years he hadnít had to do that yet. Also, with no sidewalks on the other side, you could always shove snow towards the grass side.
He said with regard to the large repair bill, Vista Hills had agreed to take that upon itself to bring the streets up to the City standards.
Mr. Osip wanted to address final statements: (1) safety issue, first and foremost; (2) the entire Sandstone Development never panned out; the roads were never promised to remain private, that was known, but they always had the option to ask, as homeowners. That was what they were there to do. (3) Vista Hills would pay for the current upgrades. He thought they had a very unique situation which required a unique solution; he hoped City Council would consider that. He understood that it was not the Cityís fault, but they had 144 families that had an incredible burden placed upon them. He said the streets were not in bad shape; if you read the report, they were a PASER 6 and 7, very similar to Haverhill. He said basically they were requesting that the City consider their request to assist their subdivision and to help do the right thing and treat all its citizens equally.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig for a brief overview.
Mr. Helwig stated that Administration had provided the history of that matter and really looked for policy direction; it was unusual for the City not to have documents coming forward one way or the other, but they were seeking Council direction as to whether or not to prepare documents for acceptance.
Mr. Helwig stated, as indicated, Mr. Osip had summarized the wording used by the City Planning Director and others in there that the streets were intended to be private never precluded the fact that City Council could accept them if a request came forward. Mr. Helwig said they were the proper width; the setback to the sidewalk was not in keeping with City design standards, which could be hazardous at times, as indicated by Mr. Osip.
Mr. Helwig stated that there was a concern about the repair of the streets and bringing them into compliance, which had there been financial guarantees in a normal process that intended public acceptance, that money would be there. He appreciated his pledge, if he so desired to pursue acceptance to fulfill that; that was a pretty unique pledge on the part of a neighborhood association and something that City Council might wish to consider very seriously, but given the record and the history here, Administration could not justify recommending to Council acceptance. He said that the fact that the neighborhood might be able to fulfill the pledge of providing the $77,300, he didnít think that was something that the City should bear under any circumstances, given the history of that matter. He said those were Administrationís comments for Council consideration.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that one of the things that he thought was the most apropos that was said by Mr. Osip was when he said unique circumstances might call for a unique response. Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that Council was all familiar with Sandstone; what struck him about the situation which made it different, was a lot of those people bought the houses thinking that they were going to buy into that large PUD and there were going to be all of the amenities, and it didnít work out. He believed that some of those streets might have been laid out with the intent that it be a small part of a much larger planned unit development which never came to fruition; so he thought it was a unique circumstance.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that what was also unique was that the residents werenít simply coming to the City making demands, asking the City to do this, that and the other thing; they were actually putting their money where there mouths were, saying they would pay $77,300 to bring the streets up into repair. It was also his understanding that it required joint sealing and road patching; they would be willing to do that. It was also his understanding, and it would be his recommendation, that if City Council were to consider that favorably that they post a bond, the standard two-year bond so that if there were any repairs that needed to be done within the next two years, the bond would take care of that.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry was concerned, although he was confident that if a crime were being committed on the street, the City police would have jurisdiction to go and deal with the crime. The fact that they were private, he would certainly call upon Member Gatt to comment on that, but perhaps being private, maybe the police didnít go as often as they did elsewhere. Personally, he thought it was a unique situation; given the fact that they were stepping up to the plate and willing to make all the financial obligations, he could support that, as long as there was the requirement that they made all the repairs and paid for the joint sealing and road patching, and posted the necessary two-year performance bond. He said there were some setback issues, but it was unique; he thought Council could work through those.
Member Nagy thought the previous speaker stated a lot of very good comments; however, she had a completely different view. With all due respect, and it was not personal, but when people bought that, it was a PUD and in the documents it said it was intended to be private roads. The sidewalk setbacks didnít meet City standards. While she empathized with the situation with regard to children and speed limits, she lived in a very large condo complex and could say the same of hers; but that was what she purchased. It was a condominium, knowing full well that it would be different than public streets.
She also had a hard time with that in the sense that she was always looking to the future in terms of the finances, and the City had accepted a number of additional mile lane roads this year, and the City had certain financial constraints. The City just accepted Island Lake and there was more to come with that; it was supposedly intended to be public roads.
Member Nagy said she had a hard time justifying that, not because she was not empathetic but she had to think of the good of the whole; she didnít think the City could afford to keep accepting more mile lanes than anticipated. She was not sure what would happen, whether the City had enough staff, whether it had enough trucks; as Council knew, it would be doing the budget in the spring and there would be a number of departments that the more people added to the population, the more police needed. As mentioned before, Council had talked about a maintenance program for the fire department; the City never instituted that, and she thought they were in dire need; Parks and Recreation would be coming forward. She thought at this time, as much as she appreciated the association willing to pay the $77,300, she was looking into the future. She said Council just received information in their packets that the State had a $460-million deficit, and was finding it hard to justify expending more money in the long run when the City would receive less. She thought the economic times were difficult for all cities, and Novi was a relatively young city. She appreciated his circumstance and knew it was an unusual circumstance, but she felt her obligation as a Councilperson was to look at the big picture; the big picture, in her mind, did not warrant that from a financial aspect. She would not be supporting a motion if there was one.
Member Gatt wanted to go on record to say the Novi Police, he thought he could speak for the Deputy Chief, would respond to any police emergency anywhere in the City of Novi. He said it was true that they could not enforce civil infraction traffic laws, but the scenario Mr. Osip described where someone traveled 100 miles per hour would constitute a crime, a misdemeanor, and they could enforce that.
Member Gatt said he tended to agree with Mayor Pro Tem Landry in that he didnít see that as a matter of spending money; he saw that as a very unique circumstance. Vista Hills Association was willing and prepared to make the necessary repairs and to post the necessary two-year bond.
Mr. Osip answered yes; the Association was willing to do whatever requirement. They were not looking for anything special; whatever any other subdivision would ask for was exactly what it was willing to do.
Member Gatt also agreed with Councilmember Nagy in that, when it was first developed it was a PUD that was supposedly going to be a private concern, but Council knew what happened there. Through no fault of any person who purchased a home in there, they were now left in a situation that was nothing like they anticipated when they bought. He could support a motion on this matter if one was made.
Member Capello stated that he felt maintenance of City streets was one of the primary services, along with police and fire, that a City provided. He didnít think Council should pick and choose what residents it was going to maintain and plow their streets and what subdivisions it was not; Mr. Osipís subdivision paid the same amount of taxes that his did and most other people sitting at Council table. He thought the same level of service should be provided to Vista Hills as the City did to other subdivisions.
Member Capello said that the only issue he had was that Vista Hills was 90 percent built out right now. He was looking at the association coming to Council as the developer saying, all right, now it was time to turn over its streets, what did it need to do to do that. He said the developer did not have to go through that process because it was going to keep the streets private. Member Capello would like to see Council treat the application as it would any other developer coming to the City and saying now itís time to turn over the streets, go out do a punch list, have them repair what needed to be repaired, and accept the streets, along with whatever maintenance bond was required. He was in support of that; that was how he would like to handle it.
Member Paul asked Kathy Smith-Roy, when Walden Woods was accepted, it was considered single-dwelling condominiums and considered private streets, and a prior Council accepted those streets. Recently the City did road repair in that area; she knew there were concrete streets and there was quite extensive repair, and she knew there was a lot more to be done. When Council made the agreement that they would be private streets and then the City accepted those, she wanted to know the cost just accrued in the last two years for the road repair.
Ms. Smith-Roy answered that she would have to report back on that.
Member Paul said she knew it was a lot of money; she would like to have a little bit of information about what some of the road costs were and before Council accepted this, to have what Member Capello said was look at that from a financial standpoint of what actually had to be done. She asked if they were all asphalt roads.
Mr. Osip answered yes.
Member Paul stated first look at what type of repair the City had to do in regard to their whole under story of the street; if the City needed some PASER scales of what really the base was of the road, what the long-term commitment was. She said when the City took on Walden Woods, the roads were concrete and they looked terrific, but the under story was not okay. She said the City put over $350,000 into one of the streets in Walden Woods. She didnít think the City could keep taking on some of those roads; when this was initially agreed upon, the City agreed that would be private roads. She said before the City took on any other roads, she wanted to have a cost analysis of what it would actually be and the developer saying that they were going to take on those costs. She wanted to make sure that the base was okay in that area, and, before the City took on more road construction, because the road bond was ending next year and the City didnít have a lot of the roads that Council currently had accepted, taken care of. She knew the City had a letter from Chase Farms, that was a very large subdivision that went between eight and nine mile, and there were several miles worth of road repair in that area; she knew that Elizabeth Lane in Addington Park was a wreck, along with Windridge, Wintergreen, Broadmoor Park; she could continue on. There was an area in Simmons Orchard and Roma Ridge that had been repaired and also had some problems. She said those were the roads the City had already accepted.
She didnít want to financially put strain on the City for future roads that the City would accept. She would like to look at maybe a cost analysis of what Walden Woods was, because it was a private street at that time, and look at kind of a cost analysis and then look at what the cost of this subdivision would be and maybe a PASER scale of what that rating was in all areas, because she knew it said 6 to 7, but what areas were a 6, how many miles were 6, what type of repair needed to be done in that area. She said she was not prepared tonight to accept those; she wanted a little bit more information. She said there was quite a bit here, and she thought Council was looking at a little bit more, so she wouldnít be in support of that this evening until she had some financial wherewithal where the City was going.
Member Lorenzo stated that she tended to share the thoughts and concerns of Member Nagy. She said it had been said that the homeowners didnít get what was promised; unfortunately, it wasnít the City and the City Council that promised those things; it was the developer. The City had no control over that situation unfortunately. She said what they did promise was private roads, and that was what Vista Hills got. She said it really didnít have anything to do with whether the rest of the subdivision was built or not built; this portion was built and was always intended for private streets.
Member Lorenzo stated that another thing Mr. Osip said was treating citizens equally; she fully concurred with that, but if Council were going to do that, then how many condominium associations, including Member Nagyís by the way, were out there that are private streets that the City was not treating equally. She thought this became a much larger question and a much larger financial question, also, than doing those on a case-by-case basis. She thought that if this City Council truly believed that it should be treating citizens equally, then it was going to be, come one, come all; so all of the subdivisions, condominium associations that were private. If Council was willing to do that and step up to the plate, then she thought Council should make that clear tonight. If not, then she thought Council should step back and look at the big picture, because she was concerned that Council was setting a precedent here.
She said she didnít think there was a unique situation in this, due to the developer; that had nothing to do with that. If the City Council was going to sit here and step up to the plate and say, come one, come all; all of you private streets out there, then she could consider that. She also would have to consider the financial ramifications and consequences because the next step was come budget time, Council would receive a budget March 30th, go through budget process in April, approve a budget in May. She asked what it would cost the City, not only in May but in the future. As Members Nagy and Paul pointed out, in terms of not only bringing streets up to standards, but maintaining all the roads in the City, this year would be the last year of the road bond money. She said that the other question was it fair that all of the citizensí roads might be pushed back because of some of those other road improvements that might be necessary. She said if you say it was a question of fairness, what was fair. How fair did Council want to be. Under those circumstances, until Council got through all of that, she couldnít possibly accept that tonight; possibly down the road, if this Council was going to have a policy come one, come all, but not tonight.
Mayor Csordas stated that he would kind of like the precedent that would be set tonight in that the homeowners would come up and pay for all of that; he liked that precedent, so if you wanted your streets fixed, go ahead and pay for it yourself. He wanted to make sure that Council was talking about the whole thing because the current total cost of repairs, not including joint sealing or road patching was estimated to be $77,000, and he wanted Council to understand that for him to support that it would be, as Member Capello said, which he thought was a very good idea to have, and also tagging on what Member Paul said, to have the City go out, inspect it, including core samples, because what the City didnít want to do was get into the same issue that Council had in Village Oaks. He thought it all fell apart when the DPW got out there and it looked like roads on the top but about two inches underneath that it was dirt. He said Council didnít want to get into that situation; so you could get a better understanding of that, maybe the City was thinking $90,000 and get in there and it was $125,000. He didnít know that the association would want to do, and he knew that the City would not want to burden the taxpayers of the City for that. He also agreed with the fact that everybody here had been paying their taxes, just like the rest of the residents of the City. He said there was no motion yet, but if the motion included all of the repairs, not just the $77,300 that Council saw here, just so he understood where Council was coming from, it had to be fair. He said if this group wanted to pay for it, that was something that he didnít remember seeing in the years that he had been around here.
Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig, if Council did what Member Capello said, to go out and treat this as a developer preparing to turn this over to the City, the City would know exactly rather than an estimate what it would take to repair all of the streets, right?
Mr. Helwig answered that the City would; however, the City wouldnít know what the actual costs would be until the work was completed. Under the developerís scenario, the developer would be making those improvements before the formal application for acceptance, so it was a little bit different than that analogy. We would have to be clear if the City was going to make those improvements, there would have to be a very binding agreement; that was where it got tricky with a resident association, but it probably could be fashioned with the appropriate bond and so forth as to any unforeseen costs in terms of making them acceptable would have to be borne, if he was understanding the spirit of discussion.
Mayor Csordas answered yes, and to be fair to the residents and to be fair to the taxpayers, he would like to make sure everything was very clear and understood before Council started; it was not something that was going to get done over night. He thought that he could support that and allow the residents of this area to help themselves, because they were telling Council theyíre going to pay for that. He also wanted to make sure that Council knew exactly what the amount was in whatever manner it took to get that done before City Council approved that.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he wanted to make a motion that the City proceed with preparing documents to process dedication of the Vista Hills Subdivision for City acceptance of ownership of streets as public and that the City inspect the streets, do a punch list item, including core samples, and that at that point when the City had made its analysis of the streets and the City came up with its cost estimate that the subdivision be offered that dollar figure. If at that point the subdivision accepts, agrees to pay that, that a suitable bond be posted. He asked Mr. Schultz if it would be 125 percent; how would that be determined.
CM-04-12-429 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED: To proceed with preparing documents to process dedication of Vista Hills Subdivision for City acceptance of ownership of streets as public and to have the City go out and do a punch list, the City to do core samples, so it was more than just a visual, that the association pay for the core samples, that there then be an estimate given from the City as best it could what it would cost. At that point, the subdivision association would be given the option to go forward or not. If the subdivision decided it wanted to go forward with that, then an agreement would be drafted embodying all of the guarantees, the subdivision would go out and hire or bid, and hire the work that be done, and the roads be accepted. At that stage where subdivision association said it would accept this when they saw the figures, the City Attorney would draft an agreement for which the subdivision paid for the attorney time, and that agreement would go back to Council for final approval; however, it was just approving the nuances of the agreement.
Mr. Schultz answered that he believed under the ordinance it would be some factor under 100 percent, whether 125 or 150 percent. He said the one comment he was going to make, through the Mayor, was that they might find posting a typical bond problematic, in the sense that a surety company dealing with a homeowners association was a little bit different, much like the City had trouble getting PLC a bond even for Twelve Mile. He said there might be some alternative that the City could work with the association on, but he just kind of raised that; it would be some factor above 100 percent. The maintenance and guarantee bond was really a minimum percentage of that, but it would be whatever the ordinance required.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that his motion would include that the subdivision be prepared to post whatever financial guarantees were necessary to do that. There was one other stipulation that the punch list item be done first before any legal time be put together in preparing documents to accept those streets because the City might find something unforeseen and it was too expensive.
Member Capello said he would support the motion. He had one comment; he would prefer to get the punch list put together, give it to the association, let them go out and bid to have the work done, Six-S or South Hill or somebody, let them take the burden of getting the work done if they chose to do it. If they chose to do it, then they would go back to Council and say they had gotten bids, wanted to have the work done and when the work was done, would present it to Council for acceptance. He said that was how it was normally done when the developer was there. That way, the City was not taking that risk; was not worried about not having enough money, and the bond issues could be passed on to a contractor; he didnít think you guys would ever get a performance or maintenance bond. All that would be passed on the contractor; he thought that would run a lot smoother.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he would be willing to accept, but the decision to accept the streets would be made by Council tonight.
Member Capello stated that they would come back to us and say they were willing to spend that money; once they came back to Council, then it would make a decision. If they came back to Council and said they would do all the repairs, then the streets would be accepted.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that Council wouldnít have to decide that; it was already decided. The only stipulation was that they had to make the repairs, and then the decision had already been made that if they did that, the City accepted the streets.
Member Capello stated that they could opt out if they decided it was too expensive.
Mayor ProTem Landry said that was fair enough; he would accept that.
Member Paul appreciated the spirit of what the motion was being made, but for her to not have the information of what the core samples were or the financial wherewithal at this point, she would not be able to support accepting those roads tonight if they repaired them, because there was a statement there that the major road patching would be needed within the next five years. She said she didnít have a crystal ball to say what that repair was when Council didnít have the core samples; the City didnít have what the major road patching would be in the next five years. She couldnít support a motion of accepting that road if they could do some temporary work, and maybe it was the $77,300, but when they really got into doing all of the analysis of the core samples, it would really be $250,000. She could not put the City in the situation to say it would do that, and they made the $77,000 repair and then find out later that the core samples may or may not have been done accurately by a company. She said they had that problem recently; Ayres Lewis came before us on Taft Road and Westmont Village, saying specifically someone else did the core samples. Ayres Lewis found that they had to do more core samples because the base was eroded; therefore, they had to ask for $90,000 for an extension of what it did this past year because it had to do more core samples. She couldnít put the City at risk to say that whoever their company was said it was all well and good, and the City was having a five-year major road patching that needed to be done, and weíre going to take that on tonight when the City didnít have all of the analysis. She couldnít support it; she couldnít put the citizens at that risk.
Mayor Csordas stated that Member Paulís concerns were protected by the motion; Council was not going to accept anything tonight.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that his motion included core samples and that the decision was made tonight to accept the roads, provided core samples were done and, after the City determined what needed to be done, as Member Capello tacked onto his motion that they agreed to hire a private contractor so the City didnít make the repairs, a private contractor did, after the core samples were done and the City determined what needed to be done to the roads to the Cityís satisfaction. After that was done, if they agreed to hire a contractor, make the repairs and post the bond or whatever financial guarantees, just like any developer would do, if they were willing to accept that; so it was an opt out. If they were not willing to accept that, they opt out and it goes away. If they were willing to accept it, the Council would accept the streets, as dedicated.
Member Paul, in response through Mayor Csordas, said that she appreciated the comments but, since she didnít have that analysis and the City had had problems with other engineering firms with those core samples, she would not be in support of it; not that she didnít want to provide different residents with our amenities that the City had for taxpayers, but there were some situations here that Council didnít have the analysis on. She said before Council had that, she would not support the motion.
Mr. Helwig stated that in conferring with Mr. Schultz, it would seem appropriate that some type of agreement formalizing all of those steps would have to come back to Council for the gun to go off for the work to be done and the conditions that had to be met for the acceptance to be valid or to take effect. He asked Mr. Schultz to comment on that.
Mr. Schultz stated that he agreed that it made sense to have an agreement laying out exactly what everybodyís obligations were. The area that he thought the City needed particular protection in was the maintenance and guarantee bond. In the typical project where a developer built and the City was expected to accept the streets, they posted a bond to make sure they built them in 100 percent plus 25- or 50 percent, but then the maintenance and guarantee bond at the end of the project was really usually 25 percent of what the value of those streets were. Here, you would have a contractor being basically hired by the association who might have $100,000 or $125,000 worth of work, the typical 25 percent would not leave a lot of cash long-term, in the typical scenario. But there might be, if you had an agreement and some ability to sit down and work this out and bring it back to Council, some alternative way that we could make sure that the City had what it might normally have for a road project. He thought that would be helped by having an agreement with the association.
Mayor Csordas stated that he believed that the homeowner association should be responsible for the attorneyís time on that, also.
Member Capello stated that he didnít think that was too inconsistent with his motion. What Mayor Pro Tem Landry said was do the punch list first, make sure the dollar was okay, then move forward to the documentation; the only thing Council would be approving tonight would be to move forward and that if everything was accomplished, including acceptance of the agreement, the roads were accepted, if he understood the motion.
Member Nagy stated that she still couldnít support the motion. Basically, the comment was made that the City should be providing the same level of service to all taxpayers; well, in essence, it did not. She said the setback was not up to City standards, and she agreed with Member Lorenzo; if Council accepted this, then it should accept everyoneís streets, including condominiums. She thought that, in her mind, it was blatantly unfair to those who had private streets, who maintained private streets, who had paid for the repair and/or replacement of private streets and/or the replacement of catch basins, etc. She thought it was blatantly unfair to do that. She was not trying to take his situation and, by any means, make it personal. She understood; if she were in his shoes, she would probably be doing the same thing. When we talk about the same level of service to all taxpayers; they all paid taxes and there was not the same level of service to all taxpayers.
Member Nagy said she appreciated the spirit of the motion, as well, but she remembered Village Oaks and the costs exceeded the amounts that were bid due to core samples. She thought it was setting Council up for a lot of stuff to come down the road that people would come forward and say if you did it for me, youíd have to do it for someone else. In the letter from the association, there was mention of that. She thought if Council did it for one, it would have to do it for the next one; she thought it was unfair. She didnít believe that all taxpayers were provided the same service; Council kept doing that all the time. She thought it was a very bad precedent. She also believed it would be so complicated to set something like that up, and she thought the costs probably would exceed that anyhow, for all the legal documentation. She could not support the motion.
Member Lorenzo stated for clarification, the soil samples that were going to be taken; that was also going to be at the homeowners association expense.
Mayor Csordas answered yes.
Member Lorenzo stated that it appeared that our City Attorney was giving those members of Council who wanted to approve that tonight some advice, and she would strongly urge those members to take that advice and put it in an agreement.
Mayor Csordas asked what that would be.
Member Lorenzo answered that she thought what she heard Mr. Schultz say was that there should be some agreement to come forward to Council before they go and refer them.
Mayor Csordas answered that it was a given.
Member Paul asked Ms. McBeth when you have a PUD like Vista Hills Subdivision had and it had 15 foot setback from their 60 foot right-of-way instead of the 25 foot setback, when you had the closer setback, was there more dense population in this agreement with this subdivision?
Ms. McBeth answered that it was kind of a complicated question. She thought it wouldnít really increase the density. The plan that was laid out initially, the area plan, would remain the same; so she thought, basically, if Council decided to approve it with public streets, if it accepted the 60 foot width, it would basically comply with the area plan that was originally laid out. She said she didnít have all the documentation that would state what the overall density was.
Member Paul stated that when they originally had Liberty Park that was before Council, there was a very short setback, enough that Council was concerned about a car fitting in a driveway, and Council could not wiggle that right-of-way very much so that fire trucks could get through, because they wanted increased density. She saw that they had a 15 foot setback; her understanding when she was on Planning was that sometimes when you have a decreased setback, you could have smaller front yards, a little bit more dense area, a little bit greater population, and that was part of the PUD. That seemed to kind of go along with the agreement that they originally proposed to have private roads. We would not have put a sidewalk abutting the street, because now when the City plows that, it would plow snow on their sidewalk.
Member Paul stated that the City had a lot of safety issues now that it was asking. How would the City make it safe for the pedestrians that walk in this area when it wasnít built to its standards. She really wondered; if the City was accepting something not to its standards, what would it long-term mean. She said until she heard the motion with Mr. Schultzí statement applied into it, she would not agree to it this evening because she saw that the Mayor was shaking his head saying that Mr. Schultzí comments were being part of the motion; actually they donít really agree with one another. Her understanding with Mr. Schultz was that it had to be brought back before Council accepted it, but Member Capello and Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that Council was accepting the roads tonight with those conditions. So there were two separate things being discussed; they were not the same. She understood that he was shaking his head that it was going to come back, but if Council was accepting it tonight, it was really defeating what Mr. Schultz was asking Council to do.
CM-04-12-430 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Paul; MOTION FAILED: To postpone discussion of whether to proceed with preparing documents to process dedication of Vista Hills Subdivision for City acceptance of ownership of streets as public, so that Mr. Schultz could come back with an appropriate agreement.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that what he would like to see done here was have the City go out and do a punch list, the City to do core samples, so it was more than just a visual, that the association pay for the core samples, that there then be an estimate given from the City as best it could what it would cost. At that point, the subdivision association would be given the option to go forward or not. If the subdivision decided it wanted to go forward with that, then an agreement would be drafted embodying all of the guarantees and everything, the subdivision would go out and hire or bid, as Member Capello suggested, and hire the work that be done, and the roads be accepted. At that stage where the subdivision association said it would accept this when they saw the figures, the City Attorney would draft an agreement for which the subdivision paid for the attorney time, and that agreement would go back to Council for final approval; however, it was just approving the nuances of the agreement. Council shouldnít make the City go through all the work and then Council come back and say, as a matter of principle, it didnít want to do that because it was setting a precedent. He understood and respected everyoneís opinion, that discussion was taking place right now. So, as long as the association was willing to accept it after it saw the numbers, and it had paid for the attorney and the cost of the core samples, the City Attorney draft an agreement and it goes back to Council for its final approval at that time. That was his original motion.
Mayor Csordas asked when the roads were repaired, would it actually change the physical layout of the roads as they were right now.
Ms. McBeth answered that she did not anticipate that it would change the roads or the layout of the subdivision.
Member Paul asked, with the comment about the time that the City would put in for the analysis that Mayor Pro Tem Landry was speaking of, if the City would now pay for the time to go out there and look at what the punch list was, so an engineer or DPW would be the person who actually inspected the roads at the Cityís cost?
Mayor Pro Tem Landry answered that it had already been done; he thought they had already gone out and inspected them. He said they hadnít done core samples, but he thought they had already been out and looked at it.
Mr. Helwig stated that Mr. Clark of the DPW was here to comment on that; Mr. Helwigís major concern, whether they had inspected it or not, was unforeseen costs. He said the agreement, in his opinion, would have a clause in there even with the estimate that everybody was looking at in good faith, that the association would be responsible in the end for any unforeseen costs. He said a punch list would help to frame it now; there could be further deterioration this winter and so forth, and when the work was actually done, who knew what they would find. He said he had learned the hard way about how some road construction had been done here, given soil conditions, what have you; so, as long as that would be part of the agreement, he thought if that was the wish of Council, it certainly covered their concern from an Administration. Todayís punch list, something told him it probably wouldnít be a full view when everything was done of what costs would be borne; it would be a pretty good guideline, he thought; they had done that to come up with that. He said he wouldnít want to take this to the bank and say that it was all the exposure that was going to be involved.
Member Paul said that Mr. Helwigís comments were very well taken because the City had had so many cost overruns because of the core samples not being done appropriately or only done in areas where the soil was actually not quite the same in certain areas, when we got into a wetland to a clay to a peat bog, and it moved around.
Member Paulís concern was that Council would have to look at this from a very strong financial standpoint; if it was $77,300, it might be double that. She wanted to make sure that those residents werenít going to take on something that they have no financial wherewithal to do. If there was some legal agreement saying that, if this was a cost overrun of some sort because of a base not being put in place or a wetland or a peat bog, whatever the City might come across, she would really like that to be part of the agreement. She said that was why she specifically would like to postpone, see this cost analysis be done, look at the entire project as a whole of what our engineers would be examining underneath what could be seen today on the top surface of this asphalt, and continue along in that area. She said if that was the case and Council came back at a later point and say what that legal agreement was, then she would look at that in another way. She, at this time, would support the postponement.
Member Capello stated that was all covered in the motion. First of all, Member Paul kept using Village Oaks and the change order on Taft Road as examples. No matter, what engineering was done, they didnít find out those cost overruns until they were in construction, so all of the postponing Member Paul wanted to do for the subdivision would not solve the problem. He said the motion totally solved Mr. Helwigís problem; they were going to do the work; they had the cost overruns, and that was between them and their contract. The City had nothing to do with that; Council didnít have to put in agreement anything about the cost overruns, because they were going to pay them. So where was the Cityís risk? They got totally done with the work, they handle all the cost overruns, they pay the contractor, they come back to Council and tell the City to take out the punch list and make sure everythingís done; when it was done Council accepted the roads. There was no risk there at all.
Member Nagy asked Mr. Schultz, if Council were to proceed with the whole process and there was an agreement and the association was willing to pay for the repair, core samples, the whole ten yards, what happened when the next association came to Council?
Mr. Schultz answered that, as Mr. Helwig stated in the beginning, this was really one of those true policy decisions that the Council was going to make. Every decision that this Council made of any kind was reviewable by somebody under basic kind of reasonableness and rationality standard and also kind of an equal protection standard. Is the decision Council would make tonight and then the next time consistent with each other, were you discriminating between similarly situated individuals or groups and was there some rational basis for either accepting or not accepting. He said that same test would apply every time one of those came before Council. In reality, that meant it was a pretty minimal standard; if Council decided to take them, it was unlikely that the next group would be able to prove that it was exactly like the first group that was accepted. He said as long as there was a basis for each decision as it kept going, Council should pass that minimum kind of standard for reasonableness and rationality. There might be particular subdivisions that could make better arguments than others; there might be some that were more like what Council had accepted than others. He said there was no completely satisfactory answer, Member Nagy, it was a reasonableness standard. As long as Council treated people who were, in fact exactly alike, the same, then the decision should survive.
Member Nagy said that the problem she had was that she didnít see anything unique about this; she didnít see the reasons for acceptance as being valid. With all due respect, there was litigation between the City and Sandstone; she didnít think that had anything to do with the streets or the acceptance thereof. She could understand the things that Member Capello enunciated and where the costs would be, but she was also concerned because it was definitely something the Administration was not supporting. Although she didnít feel that she had to vote on everything the way the Administration made a recommendation, she thought there were a lot of good reasons why the Administration did not support this project. She also believed that with the sidewalks not being in compliance with City ordinances, that it could also become a safety issue; once it became City property it also could be something where she could foresee litigation in the future.
Member Nagy said she didnít want to open the City up for that; at some point, someone would sue the City for the fact that it accepted one but not the other; especially, when talking about taxpayer dollars. She said if we all pay our taxes and weíre not getting equal service, at some point someone was going to do that. She just did not feel that this was a good move on Councilís part; as much as she empathized with the residents, she kept looking at the good of the whole. She said she probably would never support this, no matter what happened, but she appreciated all the things that Mayor Pro Tem Landry came up with in his motion, but she just in principle couldnít support any of that.
Member Lorenzo had two different questions for Mr. Schultz, sort of following up on the previous speaker on one part. Say another condominium association came to Council, the only difference with their proposal was that they didnít have a Sandstone situation that "for some people" made that unique, but all of the other things were the same: they were willing to pay to bring their streets up to code for what the City accepted streets for, and, similarly, their streets might not be up to construction standards. She asked if that was the only thing that was different, would there be enough difference in terms of reasonability to not accept them?
Mr. Schultz, again through the Mayor, thought what she was asking for was a prediction in a particular case, and given that hypothetical, as long as there was something that was different; he said in this case, in all honesty, there was an agreement that gave Council the option to take them as public streets, which was not, frankly, in most of the condominium documents that at least got approved through their office; it was a PUD. He said because it was a PUD, and because of the unique history, that one would probably be different than the next regular old site condo that came in which, if Council accepted, then the next one you might have a closer argument. He said this one was a little different, which made it the policy decision; it was not the kind of thing a court wanted to get into. The court would look at did you intentionally discriminate between two similarly situated entities; if not, youíre going to survive that unless there was a close question. The other half of the inquiry is, was there really any basis for Council to have said no.
Member Lorenzo said that was the concern that she had, and that was the one where you typically said, even when accepting streets or not, because Council said it was not obligated to accept any streets; then you come forward with that argument that you have to prove reasonableness.
Mr. Schultz stated that, because Council didnít have the obligation to do it, because the typical site condominium had been approved, showing private streets, the burden was not on the City really to defend its decision. The burden was on the next property owner to say there was no basis for that decision, and it was completely inconsistent with what they had done.
Member Lorenzo stated they said there was no basis for that decision, other than what some Council members saw as a unique situation because Sandstone didnít fully develop its subdivision. To be honest with you, her subdivision was originally slated for three phases, but they only put in one phase and the other two phases later became Bradford of Novi; so that could be said of many situations throughout the City where a developer came in and was supposed to develop so many lots and it didnít and another entity picked it up and developed from there. She said if that was seen as unique, then that was the concern that she had; if that was not under the reasonableness test "unique", she wanted to know what basis Council had for denying the next condominium association.
Mr. Schultz stated that he could never say that the fact that Council had accepted streets that had planned to be private was not going to be an argument in somebodyís arsenal of arguments next time the Council said no. All he could say was that the standard of review was extremely deferential; it was a minimum standard, and, if you were able to construct an argument that said it was slightly different and we had this reason which was minimally rational, it should pass. That was the only way he could answer the question.
Member Lorenzo asked if he would advise this Council to just go along with a motion with those conditions, or would you advise Council to form an agreement first and then come back.
Mr. Schultz answered that obviously he wasnít making the motion, as he understood the motion, no acceptance, no obligation on the part of the City became effective unless and until an agreement was entered into by this Council, separate and apart from tonight, and that, in fact, the agreement itself would provide no streets were accepted until everything had been inspected, paid for and bonds were in place. The motion, as he understood it, directed the staff to go forward, take a look at the roads, do the core samples, have, at the associationís expense, an agreement created and then brought back to Council for a discretionary determination, at which point the Council still could say no, if everything had not fallen into place, if there was not an agreement reached by the Council. Unless he misunderstood the motion, that was the policy.
Member Lorenzo stated that he repeated the motion but didnít answer her question. She asked if he was comfortable enough with that to advise Council that it would be his preference to come back with an agreement at this point in timed before this Council went any further, or was he comfortable as the City Attorney that this sufficed.
Mr. Schultz stated that he thought the motion sufficed to the extent that there was no financial outlay on the part of the City until that agreement was approved and accepted; the homeowners would bear the burden of reimbursement for any work that was done and that was acceptable to the Attorneyís office; that was the policy question for this Council.
Member Lorenzo thanked Mr. Schultz and said if it didnít work out, she was going back to him, not to Council.
Mr. Schultz stated that he wanted to make sure they were clear; it was a policy question; that was not really a legal question.
Member Lorenzo said she disagreed; the question she asked him was a legal one to advise this Council on how best to proceed on a legal basis of liability to the City and to the taxpayers. Her question to him was a legal one: Was it his preference from a legal basis of protecting the City to have an agreement in place before Council went any further, or was he comfortable with Mayor Pro Tem Landryís motion in that case? That was a direct legal question; as she said, she would come back to him and his firm.
Mr. Schultz stated that, as he understood the motion, there was nothing binding on this Council until an agreement was actually entered into, and the cost of preparing that agreement was on the property owner, and, as far as he was concerned, if it went through, then the City had been protected.
Member Lorenzo stated that it was nice that he thought that way; Council didnít have the other party to concur without an agreement.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-430 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
Nays: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Mayor Csordas stated that what he did like was the precedent of the homeowners association coming up and offering to pay for the entire project, not obligating the City to pay everything. He appreciated everyoneís concerns about the what ifís, because the Council had had a lot of what ifís in the past. He said as long as the motion was followed and as long as Council didnít do anything until it saw the agreement, as long as they knew with their eyes wide open, it could be $300,000, and at that point, the association needed to make the financial decision whether or not whether it wanted to move forward, because the Council wouldnít. He wanted him to know just so there werenít any surprises.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-429 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt
Nays: Nagy, Paul, Lorenzo
6. Approval of contract for Grand Court water service connection for fire hydrant service, to the low bidder, COOP-ARZ Excavating, LLC, in the amount of $58,000, contingent upon the execution of the Loan Payback Agreement with Brookdale Living, LLC, d.b.a. Grand Court. (For possible action after Executive Session).
CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION
D. Approval to apply for and accept, if awarded, a Detroit Edison Tree Planting Grant, in the amount of $3,000.
Member Lorenzo asked if the forester was actually going to be writing the grant.
Mr. Helwig asked Mr. Auler, Parks, Rec and Forestry Director, to confirm that.
Mr. Auler stated that was correct.
Member Lorenzo stated that was the way she had read that, but she just wanted to make sure that was the case.
CM-04-12-431 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve to apply for and accept, if awarded, a Detroit Edison Tree Planting Grant, in the amount of $3,000.
Voice Vote on CM-04-12-431 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY
MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES
1. Autumn Park Drainage Ė Mayor Pro Tem Landry
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated the last time he spoke with Mr. McCusker, Department of Public Works Director, he was trying to set up a meeting with the homeowners of Autumn Park and a representative of the DEQ; he wondered what the status of that was.
Mr. Helwig stated that Gary Clark, Deputy Director, was attending tonight in Mr. McCuskerís absence. He asked if Mr. Clark knew if that meeting on the to do list had been confirmed.
Mr. Clark answered that Mr. McCusker has had contact with representatives of that association but he didnít know if the meeting had taken place. He also knew that some staff in Public Works has had contact with MDEQ trying to straighten out the criteria for the inspections and things along those lines with drainage issues. He said he could check and get back with the City Manager in the morning.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated perhaps in the Thursday packet.
Mr. Helwig stated that he understood that Administration was obligated to let Council know when the meeting was set, not after it was held. He said they would get back to Council.
2. Move December 13th Boards and Commissions Interviews to December 20th -- Member Capello
Member Capello asked Ms. Cornelius, City Clerk, how many interviews Council had on December 13th.
Ms. Cornelius answered as of today, there were six. The deadline for applications advertised in the newspaper was Wednesday.
Member Capello asked Mr. Helwig if he had any idea what the agenda was going to be like for December 20th.
Mr. Helwig answered that he tried to give a preview two weeks ago. The major discussion items, unless Council really wished to push it to the first meeting in January was the fiscal analysis report, which was going to Council this Thursday. Administration really wanted to get that to Council before its goal setting session, and he asked that the date be stated again because three members of Council came in after Council had discussed that item. The date for goal setting, because everyone was really needed, was Saturday, January 8th, 9 a.m. -2 p.m. He said that was even before the first Council meeting in January. So, Administration really needed the fiscal analysis report on December 20th; he didnít know what else they would have; thatíll be a big discussion.
Member Capello asked if it would be possible to move three interviews to December 20th and three interviews to the first meeting in January.
Ms. Cornelius answered that she could if that was what Council desired to do; she could contact the individuals.
Member Capello stated that would be his motion; then Council could avoid the December 13th meeting.
CM-04-12-432 Moved by Capello; seconded by Landry; MOTION CARRIED: To have three interviews on December 20th, beginning at 7:00 p.m. and the remaining three interviews on January 10th, beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Member Nagy asked if had to start in January.
Member Capello stated that was fine; begin at 6:30 p.m. on December 20the and have three interviews on January 10th; that way Council could avoid having the December 13th meeting just for interviews.
Ms. Cornelius stated that there might be others; there quite a few vacancies on other boards and commissions, as well. So far, those were the ones that had applied.
Mayor Csordas asked if Ms. Cornelius recalled for what boards and commissions they had applied. He said it seemed as if there was a serious issue on the Zoning Board. He believed the Library Board.
Ms. Cornelius stated that there were vacancies on the Library Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Review, Parks and Recreation, as well. She said there were approximately five or six boards or commissions that either have vacancy or the terms expired in January.
Mayor Csordas asked if the entire Council needed be present for the interviews on December 13th.
Ms. Cornelius answered that as a long as there was a quorum present, four.
Member Nagy stated that she could understand postponing the interviews because of the number of vacancies there were and maybe another advertisement would compel more people to come forward, but with all due respect, she could not get there at 6:30 p.m. She said it was too hard her for her to get there by 6:30 p.m., and she would appreciate some accommodation in saying 7:00 p.m.
Mayor Csordas stated that he had been doing interviews for over five years now, and he didnít know that they had ever had a full Council here for interviews, maybe they had but he didnít recall. What Council could do was accommodate Member Capelloís schedule, and if he had things planned, he could understand that. He asked if Council would have a quorum of four on December 13th.
A discussion followed to determine if there would be a quorum for December 13th.
Ms. Cornelius wanted to clarify. She asked if there were any other applicants that would like to apply, which meeting would Council like her to schedule them for; currently they were scheduled every 15 minutes.
Mayor Csordas stated every 10 minutes.
Ms. Cornelius stated that they had left 15 minutes; typically that was how they scheduled them and Council had been proceeding through the interviews at 10 minutes.
Mayor Csordas stated that Council Members would have one question each.
Member Capello stated that was kind of his point; to come here for an hour and one-half meeting didnít make sense when it could be spread out over two additional meetings.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-432 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,
Nays: Paul, Csordas
Ms. Cornelius stated that she would make sure to notify all the applicants.
Member Nagy stated that Council had some applicants from last year and asked Ms. Cornelius if she called them again to ask them if they wanted to come forward if they had not not been appointed or not voted in.
Ms. Cornelius answered yes; they were contacted and stated that their application was on file and asked if they would like to be considered again for the position. She said they did have some that stated they had been interviewed one or more times and would still like to be considered for the position; however, they did not feel it was necessary to come back and interview again.
Member Nagy asked if it was too late to advertise again and asked if they needed 15 days; next week would be the 15th. She suggested that if Council had more interviews, say they received two more, do four one night and four the other night.
3. Sidewalk Ordinance Ė Member Capello
Member Capello stated that the City had all the gaps in the sidewalks; a lot of the gaps were in older homes, two-, three-, four-acreage and there was no ability for the City to require them to put the sidewalks in. It dawned on him that when they were splitting up their parcels, they apply for a parcel split, at that time he would like to ask Council if it could have the City Attorney give an opinion whether or not Council could require the homeowner at the time of the parcel split to put the sidewalk in as a precondition to the split. That was a way that the City could fill in some of those gaps; the homeowners were obviously selling the property to make a profit. Maybe at that time, the City should require the entire property be brought up to the current City standards and have sidewalks put in. He said it would have been wonderful if they could have made Mr. Bosco do that when he did his split; it would have taken care of the whole corner; thatís past the fact at this point.
Mayor Csordas asked if there was a consensus to ask the Attorney to do that.
There was a consensus.
4. Target Report Ė Member Lorenzo
Mr. Schultz stated briefly, as he had indicated, the timeframe the City was dealing with was the end of the year, December 31st, the temporary C of O expired. He said the two issues that needed to be resolved in order to allow the City to issue a final C of O appeared at this point, and the material was here in front of Council, to be resolved as a result of, essentially of Landon and Target resolving some issues, they obviously hadnít resolved their entire federal court litigation, but they had agreed to get along on this by having Landon make the payment into the Cityís tree fund. That should occur shortly, and it was in the amount indicated by the Cityís woodlandís consultant. With regard to the wetlands, the plantings could not be planted this year; in fact, by the time they were able to sit down, they had passed the MDEQ date for plantings, so JCK had confirmed that about $75,000 worth of plantings needed to occur. They were going to take 200 percent of that $150,000 from Landon; from the their perspective, it allowed the City under the ordinance to issue the final C of O. The documents for water and sewer easements throughout that site already submitted by Promenade; they were talking with Target about their submission and from their perspective they thought the City should be able to meet the December 31st date, as a result of essentially Council forcing the two parties together to resolve the issue.
Member Lorenzo appreciated the report again. She said the main question and concern that she had was totally understand obviously that the plantings for the wetland mitigation could not be accomplished this year. Her concern was that it would be dragged out even further; she asked who was going to be responsible for it.
Mr. Schultz answered Landon.
Member Lorenzo suggested that the City give Landon a deadline now in terms of applying for MDEQ permit because, as she understood it, that permit had long since expired.
Mr. Schultz stated that it was not entirely clear.
Member Lorenzo stated that if it had long since expired, that perhaps by the second meeting in January, they need to have applied for an MDEQ wetland permit, knowing that the MDEQ didnít necessarily move as quickly as Council might like, due to all of the projects that they consistently worked on. She said that if that had not been accomplished by the second meeting in January, then what she would like to let them know was that the City would take on the project, and the City would apply for the permit and would then cash the bond and move forward. Once it had applied for the permit, then it could also get a contractor lined up and find out from the MDEQ when their start date for those plantings could take place, so it could line somebody up, so as soon as that was ready, the City would be ready to go, so that there were no more delays in this whole process. That was one of her frustrations was that it kept dragging on; she thought some of Council had been working on it for two years, consistently bringing that up; she would like to give them some time, but if they couldnít meet the deadline, she thought the City should take control of the situation and move it forward and complete it. She said that would be her suggestion and hoped that Council could gain consensus tonight so that perhaps a letter could be written to Landon and put in writing, so that when Council came back the second meeting in January, Council knew where it stood and could move forward.
Council conferred and a consensus was reached.
5. Council Starting Time Ė Member Lorenzo
Member Lorenzo stated that she had not liked the starting time of 7:00 p.m. from her point of view. She said different things came up during the day, and she had found it a challenge to be here at 7:00 p.m. She would prefer to change it back to 7:30 p.m. come January. She said that was what all of Council had signed up for; thatís what had been working for her for seven years. She found herself really struggling and being rushed the whole day long to try to get here at that hour. She said Council had tried it for three months, but it would be her preference to move it back to 7:30 p.m.
Member Nagy stated that she was quite glad that the issue was put on the agenda; she thought for years, ever since it had been on cable, Council meeting had been at 7:30 p.m. She had never heard complaints from residents regarding 7:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.; she thought everyone was used to 7:30 p.m. She said that some of Council had been on Council before, and she didnít remember anyone at Audience Participation complaining about the half hour difference.
Member Nagy said, with all due respect, there was a rerun of the meetings on Sunday; she also would like to change it back to 7:30 p.m. She said she had been late almost every single time; she just didnít have a 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. job and she didnít want residents to think that she was not honoring her duties as a Councilman. She thought while watching some of the reruns on Sunday and seeing her chair empty that it didnít make her look good. She said she really couldnít help it; she apologized for that.
Member Nagy said she would really like to put it back to what it had been ever since it had been on cable, 7:30 p.m. In fact, she received the opposite complaint from residents who said they had turned the meeting on and found that it was already going; people had not made that adjustment. She wanted to honor her role as a Councilperson, and she liked being on time. She said it was difficult to figure out where Council was on the agenda when she walked in late.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he liked the 7:00 p.m. start time; he thought it had worked out great. He understood individual peopleís preferences; his was to keep it at 7:00 p.m. He said Council might also have a problem if the City calendar had already been printed with the 7:00 p.m. start time.
Mr. Helwig stated that they hadnít started running them yet. He said for clarification, it was an experiment; Council did adopt 7:00 p.m. when it adopted next yearís meeting dates, and Sheryl Walsh, Community Relations Manager, had plugged into the calendar. He wouldnít make the decision based on what the calendar did or didnít say. He said Council gave enough to the community; Council should sort through this. Council billed it as an experiment; try to come to a consensus of what Council would like to do.
Sheryl Walsh stated that she would agree with Mr. Helwig; after the last meeting where Council approved the schedule, it went to the printer and began on the press last Saturday. But, she agreed with Mr. Helwig that it wasnít the end all, be all for communications; the City did have the website to notify community members and did have the cable channel, notices in the paper, etc. Administration could put it in Januaryís Update Novi; it could put a big notice, if Council so decided to change that time.
Member Capello stated that he thought the 7:00 p.m. time had worked out fine; it got Council out early. He knew that many times Council was here until 12:00, 1:00 a.m. and he had a 7:30 a.m. meeting every Tuesday.
Member Gatt said that it was his motion that started the experiment. He liked the 7:00 p.m. time; the only thing that would change his mind would be if Council agreed to abide by its own rules that nothing started after 11:00 p.m. He said the reason he wanted it to start earlier was because he didnít have a 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. job, either; he had a 5:00 a.m. job, and when Council was here until 1:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m. or 1:30 a.m., it was just ridiculous. He said it was ridiculous for the people watching and it was ridiculous for the people who had to get up on this table so early in the morning.
Member Gatt thought the 7:00 p.m. time seemed to work out; here it was 8:48 p.m. and it was almost over, granted it was an easier agenda than most. He said if this Council wanted to abide by its rules and agree that it wouldnít start any new business after 11:00 p.m. at night, which was I the Council rules, then it didnít matter if it started at 7:00 p.m. or 7:30 p.m.
Member Nagy stated that she would agree with that, if that was a motion.
Member Gatt said that was a motion but it was one that all would have to agree on, that nothing new could start after 11:00 p.m. at night. He thought other Councils had tried that or at least talked about it; it was a very difficult premise. If you thought about it; if there was half an agenda to go and it was 11:00 p.m. already, what would Council do. That was why he thought starting earlier made better sense; he understood that it was difficult for some people to get there at 7:00 p.m. It would be difficult for some people to get there at 7:30 p.m.; it would be difficult for some people to get there at 8:00 p.m. He said Council used to start at 8:00 p.m., and some people would sometimes walk in late. He knew all of Council "signed up" for 7:30 p.m. start time, but the majority of Council decided to go with an experiment and the experiment, in his opinion worked well. Again, he would be open for any suggestions, along as Council got out of there at a time that would allow people who had to get up at 5:00 a.m. to do so.
Member Paul stated that most of the time she could be there by 7:00 p.m., but there were occasions when the starting block goes off when her kids got off the bus and 7:30 p.m. was pushing it. Tonight she was at her childrenís function, and it was very hard for her to get here; she still would have been 5 minutes late at 7:30 p.m., but that would be a lot better than 35 minutes late.
Member Paul said she took her obligations pretty seriously to the community; she would really like to be here as much as possible and she tried not to miss any meetings, such as interviews, etc. She said it was not that she didnít respect their early working time; she also got up with her family very early in the morning herself, so she was looking at what they could all contribute. She said all seven Members were elected to be here; she knew Mayor Csordas and Member Nagy had jobs where they could not get here before 7:00 p.m.
Member Paul said Council was trying to schedule the interview meeting; unfortunately, it was very difficult because it couldnít be put at 7:00 p.m., when the regular meeting started at 7:00 p.m. So now Council had to change the meeting time again. She would like to see it start at 7:30 p.m. so Council could have an occasional Executive Session at 7:00 p.m. and our interviews at 7:00 p.m., as mentioned tonight with Ms. Cornelius.
Member Paul said she would be willing to make it as a motion and agreeable to not put new information on the Council after 11:00 p.m., but she had to say that Mayor Csordas had been keeping our agendas relatively respectable so Council could get out at a normal time. Also, comments from Audience Participation had been shortened; Council had been abiding by that rule; it had really helped the meeting time stay within a normal timeframe. She said she would like to start the meeting times at 7:30 p.m., because she wanted to accommodate all seven Members, not just herself.
Mayor Csordas stated that he had the City of Novi Council Organization and Rules and it stated that the Council would have as a goal to conclude meetings by 11:30 p.m., so if Council had the commitment by all City Council . . . That brought up another thought, that Council had time restraint obligations as far as allowing people to be on the agenda; not time of day, but time of the month, where Council had an issue that maybe was in Planning and needed to be at City Council within the next 30 or 60 days. He knew Council had certain time restraints on some of those issues.
Mr. Helwig stated that he thought Council had been abiding by those; again, he wouldnít make the decision based on that. Weíre talking about 30 minutes; when working on the agenda, it was uppermost in our minds, 11:00 p.m. or 11:30 p.m., and a couple of exceptions, it had been hitting that. He thought it was very important that all of Council felt good about whatever decision it reached here; again, if we run into troubles, he would be asking for additional meetings. He would be the "bad guy" because the City did have a work program; it was a fast-paced, growing community with a lot of work to get done and processed. He said that was the relief valve that he would have to bring forward; he fully anticipated they would get their work done. He said better use was made of the off-week packet; he was getting calls about issues; things were being resolved in terms of background information, so that Council decision making time was used more effectively, he thought.
Mayor Csordas stated that he was okay with 7:00 p.m.; he was okay with 7:30 p.m. He couldnít really be okay with anything prior to 7:00 p.m., only because of the logistics. He was hesitantly in favor of the 7:00 p.m., tried it and his only change this evening would be that if Council had one member that was having a struggle because of the job getting here at 7:00 p.m., that caused him some concern. He said 7:30 p.m. would be okay if the City Councilís commitment that they would be there so there would be a quorum; he thought Council probably noticed that he liked to start on time; and also, that Council conclude the meetings by 11:30 p.m. It was written down here and said City Council would have a goal, but he would like to have City Council committed to getting out of there at 11:30 p.m.
Member Gatt asked about Executive Sessions before the meetings.
Mayor Csordas said that there was another monkey wrench in it; he said if Council started at 7:30 p.m. and had an Executive Session prior to that, he thought he could still get there. He stated that Council knew there would be one Executive Session a month regarding legal issues.
Member Nagy stated that it was very difficult because they all had different jobs and all probably had to get up early, too. What she would like to see happen would be to have Executive Sessions before the meetings only because everybody was sharp and wide-awake. It was easier to come in on a session like that late than it was, quite frankly, a Council meeting. She also thought that one of the things Council could do, if it went back to the regular time, was that Council had a tendency to put on a lot of things for Mayor and Council Issues, and some things were not necessarily a priority. She was guilty of that herself, putting something on the Mayor and Council Issues, and she thought if Council was having an evening where it was going along and it was getting later, that Council make a motion to adjourn those issues to the next Council meeting. She thought there were ways to get out; they tried that at the Planning Commission and they were doing very well with the 11:30 p.m. Sometimes they made a motion and got out at 12:00 a.m. unless its was an absolutely bad agenda. She would like to go back to 7:30 p.m. She appreciated the fact that the Mayor had lessened those meetings because of audience participation and the time limit; she thought maybe they could all govern themselves when they spoke, as well.
Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he couldnít agree to limit the backend of the meeting; in his opinion, it was more important that it be convenient for the public than that it be convenient for Council. Council members went out to get elected and it was not the Membersí convenience but the publicís convenience. The problem he had was if somebody had an item on the agenda, they were planning on getting a decision on that agenda; if they sat through the meeting and it was 11:00 p.m. or 11:30 p.m. and somebody said the rule said Council had to stop at 11:30 p.m., youíll have to come back two weeks from now. They had taken all this time, they had hired attorneys, they had hired consultants, they had people waiting for them; so, he respected Member Gattís suggestion, but he couldnít agree to limiting the backend. He said they needed to finish the job it started; they needed to stay as long as it took.
Member Capello stated that he 100 percent concurred with that; they had done it in the past where they needed to suspend the rules to stay; Council couldnít have people sit here for four hours and then tell them to come back in two weeks. He would have no objection starting at 7:30 p.m., if Council could all agree that Maryanne would use her three minute buzzer for each of Council to move the meetings along.
Member Gatt stated, before he moved on, there was an issue that he thought Member Capello just said something in jest.
Member Capello answered no.
Member Gatt stated that everyone knew that he didnít say a lot here because he said what he had to say and then moved on; maybe if Council Members limited themselves to a period of time, as they did at the United States Congress, maybe Council could get out of there at a regular time.
CM-04-12-433 Moved by Nagy; MOTION FAILED FOR LACK OF SECONDER: To limit each Councilmember to five minutes the first time around in discussion.
Member Nagy stated that should give everyone plenty of time to say what they had to say.
Mayor Csordas stated yes, the first time.
Member Nagy stated every time. Five minutes was not that much; what if it was a big issue.
Member Capello stated that was a half hour per issue the first time around; that was an hour on an issue; six issues on the agenda that was six hours.
Member Nagy stated that if there was pressing business, all that was needed was to make a motion to continue with the meeting and if there was a consensus, Council could continue on. She said Council was not staying there until 1:00 p.m. very often.
CM-04-12-434 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; MOTION FAILED: To start the meetings at 7:30 p.m., with Executive Sessions being at 7:00 p.m. once a month.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-434 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul
Nays: Capello, Gatt, Csordas,
Member Paul stated that she was not there at the beginning of the meeting and there was some discussion about the City Council goal setting session being January 8th; she could not make it on January 8th. Member Gatt shared with her that there were several dates that were not good for other members; she was not part of that discussion but could not be there on January 8th. She was hoping that Council could look at another date.
Discussion was held regarding dates for the goal setting meeting and the consensus was that the meeting would be held on January 31st at 6:00 p.m.
CM-04-12-435 Moved by Paul, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To meet on January 31st at 6:00 p.m. for the goal setting session.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-435 Yeas: Landry, Capello, GATT
Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,
Paul Sherbeck, Simmons Orchard, stated that for the past several years he had been coming before Council to express his opinions regarding the legitimate functions of government; he had been outspoken about the corporate welfare, such as tax abatements given to Mr. Bowman for his Expo Center, and most recently cash and credits given to Incat.
However, lately he had spoken at Council not on such lofty topics as free speech and economic freedom, but on the most mundane of subjects, tree stumps. He thanked Mayor Csordas for mailing the City Attorneyís opinion regarding potential City liability if someone was to be injured by the ash tree stump in his yard. He again emphasized his yard. He said that although the developer may have given the street to the City and the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the curb to the City, the original buyers paid for the street and the small strip, so-called median. He said developers were not benevolent; the homeowners paid for the land, planted the grass, watered and mowed the grass.
Mr. Sherbeck asked if the City claimed the strip, then why didnít the City water and cut the grass. He said as an abutting property owner, he was concerned about getting sued if the stump in his yard injured someone. He said the City Attorney had given his legal opinion; his opinion was that the City was guilty of gross negligence by not using ordinary care and diligence in removing hundreds of tree stumps throughout the City. He said it was clear that the City had the money to grind up all the stumps in order to avoid accidents.
Mr. Sherbeck stated that no business would stand long if it started a job in 2002 and came back two years later to complete the job. He suggested that Councilís actions match its words; restore the landownersí property and remove the tree stumps before someone got hurt.
Mayor Csordas recessed the meeting at 9:15 p.m. for Council to go into Executive Session.
Mayor Csordas called the meeting back to order at 10:05 p.m.
6. Approval of contract for Grand Court water service connection for fire hydrant service, to the low bidder, COOP-ARZ Excavating, LLC, in the amount of $58,000, contingent upon the execution of the Loan Payback Agreement with Brookdale Living, LLC, d.b.a. Grand Court.
CM-04-12-436 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the contract for Grand Court water service connection for fire hydrant service, to the low bidder, COOP-ARZ Excavating, LLC, in the amount of $58,000, contingent upon the execution of the Loan Payback Agreement with Brookdale Living, LLC, d.b.a. Grand Court.
Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-436 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,
There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 10:06 p.m.
Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk
Transcribed by Sue Troutman
Date approved: December 20, 2004