View Agenda for this meeting

REGULAR MEETING OF THE NOVI CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2004 AT 7:00 PM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė NOVI CIVIC CENTER Ė 45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD

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

Clay Pearson Ė Assistant City Manager

Tom Schultz Ė City Attorney

Benny McCusker Ė Public Works Director

Kathy Smith-Roy Ė Finance Director

Barb McBeth Ė Planning Director

Rob Hayes Ė City Engineer

APPROVAL OF AGENDA

CM-04-12-437 Moved by Capello, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda.

Voice Vote on CM-04-12-437 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

INTERVIEWS FOR ABOARDS AND COMMISSIONS

Mayor Csordas stated that there would be 10 minutes allocated for interviewing each person. Mayor Csordas asked for brief overview of why they were interviewing or seeking reappointment; each member of City Council would ask one question.

Cynthia Gronachan was interviewing for a reappointment to the Zoning Board of Appeals. She stated that she was about to complete her second term on the ZBA; she stated that her three main objectives were commitment, sense of pride and the ability to give back to the community. Ms. Gronachan said that four years ago her commitment was that she thought she could do the job; today her commitment was to the Board, her fellow Board members, and to the residents who came before it. She said there was a sense of pride at what had been accomplished the past couple of years, especially with the adverse things that had hit them with the changing of the guard at the table and the passing of a member. She said that the ability to give back to the community was overwhelming; the residents came with knees shaking and the Board worked together hand-in-hand with them.

Member Paul thanked Ms. Gronachan for her years of service; it was a lot of commitment and a hard board to sit on. She asked what was the most adverse or difficult situation she had been in on the ZBA and how did she handle those situations.

Ms. Gronachan answered that the most difficult situation in 2004 was the lack of members or the rotating of members. She didnít know that anything could be done about that per se, that was life. She thought the important thing about it was the fact that, as the Chair, it was important to have the seasoned members as well as the newcomers be all on the same "map", so to speak. She said there were a lot of meetings where there were only four members, but because everybody was together, the willingness to work together and the pleasantness that the board experienced, worked itself out. Everything else was just ZBA stuff and you get through it.

Member Gatt also thanked Ms. Gronachan for serving on the ZBA. He asked her what the biggest problem facing the City was that was applicable to the ZBA and asked what she would do about it.

Ms. Gronachan answered that there werenít necessarily problems; she looked at it like everything was workable or resolvable. She thought the biggest issue still last year was garages and the Board went back to ordinance review and now Novi had four-car garages. The biggest amount of cases were sign cases. She said that people just didnít understand that Novi didnít want 250 feet on its signs; she didnít know that 40 feet was the answer, but it seemed to be working. Again, she really didnít see problems; as a Board, they looked at the cases and were thinking about today, next week and six years down the road and what the case or change would impact and how it would impact. So because the Board had that sort of flow to it, it wasnít a problem; it was just a fact of the ZBA in a growing city.

Member Capello asked if there was anything that City Council could do for ZBA to help it do its job.

Ms. Gronachan said that she didnít have any complaints; when they had a problem in terms of low membership, they sat down with City Council, and City Council went to work and tried to get members to fill those seats.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry thanked Ms. Gronachan for her time and effort; ZBA was a very tough job. He said they were judges and had to tell people yes or no; the only place they went after ZBA was circuit court. He wanted to know if there was any ordinance that Council needed to look at.

Ms. Gronachan answered, the sign ordinance needed to be looked at; it did give the City control over what it looked like. She knew that all the Board members would be happy to add any input that they could.

Member Nagy also thanked Ms. Gronachan for her years of service; she did a good job. She had no questions.

Mayor Csordas stated he thought she did a fine job as ZBA Chair. He asked why she thought people should serve more than two terms on any board or commission.

Ms. Gronachan answered that in particular to the ZBA and in light of the changeover that she had experienced as a member, she thought it wasnít so much of a controlling issue if the same people were left there. She said it was knowledge, history, continuity; it was protecting the City. She said it took the first two years to get to know the job, then a member took that wealth of knowledge and helped to better the City and its image. It was the no-nonsense board.

Karen Zyczynski who was applying for the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission, the Housing and Community Development Committee or the Board of Review spoke next. She said she had been a resident of Novi since 1971 and both of her children attended Novi Public Schools. She worked for Livonia Public Schools for 35 years and had a lot of community involvement in Livonia; she also served as the President of the Teachersí Union for the last eight years before she retired in June, working closely with the school board members and with the administration of the school district. Now that she had retired, she felt that it was important to give back to the community in which she lived.

Member Gatt thanked her for coming out and for wanting to serve; she had already been a dedicated servant to the public through her many years in the school system. Member Gatt asked if Ms. Zyczynski had a preference out of the three committees she had chosen.

Ms. Zyczynski answered that she wasnít quite sure with the kinds of skills she had acquired over the years where she might really fit in and where the need was at this point in time. She said she was willing to explore any that she hadnít indicated, as well. She said Parks, Recreation & Forestry certainly interested her but there might not be an opening and could use her somewhere else.

Member Capello stated that his question was similar to Member Gattís, and he liked her answer that whatever opened up first, she would take.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he admired the spirit with which she had come and commended her for her honesty; he thought he would encourage everyone to step forward and serve their City.

Member Nagy thanked Ms. Zyczynski for coming forward, and said she had excellent credentials. She would support her for any committee.

Member Paul stated that she knew there was an opening on the Board of Review; she asked Ms. Cornelius, City Clerk, what other boards that she had listed had openings.

Ms. Cornelius answered that currently the Parks, Recreation & Forestry Commission had one opening, due to a resignation. The Board of Review had people seeking reappointment; also the HCD Committee had one expired term, and she believed that person was also seeking reappointment.

Member Paul said that she could see her in any number of positions; she saw her talents as being able to work with people for eight years as a union president; that was a very difficult job. Just being a teacher and negotiating a classroom every day was a challenge. She asked if Ms. Zyczynski had a preference or first pick.

Ms. Zyczynski answered that she didnít have a strong preference for one or another; probably, if she had to pick one, her first choice might be Parks, Recreation & Forestry. She said her skills lent themselves towards working with people and finding creative solutions to problems; working with people who were totally opposed to her point of ground and finding common ground; those were her strengths. She said she was certainly willing to consider any possibility.

Mayor Csordas asked which State Representativeís campaign she worked on.

Ms. Zyczynski answered that Joan Gephardt was running for State Representative in Livonia, and she was her campaign coordinator.

Marjorie Nanian stated that she wished to be reappointed to the Board of Review. She said it fit in with the philosophy of why one should serve more than one term on a board. She also believed that it justified the Cityís investment in her. In addition, she also wanted to donate her time to serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals. She said last year her initial request had been to serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and she would still be interested to serving on that in addition to the Board of Review.

Mayor Csordas asked if the City had a policy regarding serving on more than one board or commission.

Mr. Helwig stated that he didnít believe it was in writing, but he thought it had been a practice to serve on one.

Mr. Schultz stated that he couldnít speak to the statute right now; he knew for the Planning Commission there was a specific prohibition on having any other office. He hadnít looked into the ZBA.

Member Capello asked what Ms. Nanianís preference was.

Ms. Nanian stated that she had already been trained for the Board of Review, so she would really like to continue with that. She felt like she already knew the ropes and got along very well with the people she worked with; it was a good fit right now.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry thanked Ms. Nanian for agreeing to serve again. He said the people she served with on that board were stalwart members of the community; he bet she enjoyed serving on that board.

Ms. Nanian answered that she really enjoyed working on that board; it was like working with Mr. Novi; she had learned so much about the history of this community.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry answered that the Board of Review was a very interesting board, similar to ZBA, where it was almost a quasi-judicial body and everyone that came with her pled a hardship; it was not easy to say no to people, so he wanted to thank her for her commitment and encourage her to continue her efforts for the City.

Member Nagy thanked Ms. Nanian for coming out this evening and asked if there was anything that she felt City Council could do to make the Board even better.

Ms. Nanian answered that there wasnít anything the Council could do; she thought there was something the Court of Appeals could do or the Michigan Legislature could do.

Member Nagy asked if that was her preference.

Ms. Nanian answered if she had to choose.

Member Paul thanked Ms. Nanian for her service. She asked what was the most difficult item that came to her Table and how did she handle it.

Ms. Nanian answered that there was none. She said the City Assessor was very efficient, and she served with two members who had done it for a long time; they had a tremendous amount of insight. She personally had a legal background, so brought that to any board she served on. She said there wasnít an issue that was difficult for them to resolve.

Member Paul agreed that the members she served with were fascinating people who had served the City so well.

Member Gatt asked which was Mr. Novi, Ernie Aruffo or Lee BeGole.

Ms. Nanian answered both. She said they were so knowledgeable about the community, the history, buildings, roads, developments.

*Member Lorenzo arrived at 7:25 p.m.

Member Lorenzo stated that she appreciated Ms. Nanianís service thus far; it was more or less a thankless job and Council appreciated anyone who was willing to step up to the plate more than once.

Ms. Nanian answered that she didnít find it to be thankless.

Mayor Csordas had no additional questions and thanked Ms. Nanian for contributing her time to the City.

PRESENTATIONS

1. Announcement of the Annual Holiday Decorating Contest winner, Olden Jackson Family, by Ron Boron, City of Novi Homeowners Council President

Ron Boron, President of the Novi Homeowners Council, stated that they had six crews that circulated through all the subdivisions in the City which came up with about 14 qualified homes that they felt were the best decorated in the City; it was a tough choice to narrow it down to one. The home was in the northwest border of the City, bordering Walled Lake and the Wixom area; it belonged to the Jackson family. He said it was a little street, bumpy, unpaved that headed down to the lake from West Park, but when driving down West Park you see bright lights above the atmosphere, like search lights at a grand opening.

He said there would be a picture in the Novi News, the Oakland Press, and a story in the Detroit Free Press on Thursday.

Mayor Csordas read the plaque: 2004 Holiday Annual Decorating Contest, Olden Jackson Family for enhancing the holiday spirit in Novi with your outstanding display of lights and spreading the spirit of goodwill.

The Olden Jackson Family received a $150 gift certificate to Meijer.

2. Recognition of Ringing in the Holidays platinum sponsors: Providence Hospital, Novi Expo Center and Singh Management

Mayor Csordas stated that whenever a call went out from this City to sponsor any event, those three entities always came to the front; there were company names, but there were always people behind it: Providence Hospital, Lou Martin, had been a tremendous supporter but hired away some of the top City employees.

Mr. Martin wanted to say that he started as a director at City Hall in 1995 and coordinated the first Ringing in the Holidays; there wasnít a Main Street then. It has now turned into a fabulous event.

Blair Bowman of the Novi Expo Center was the next recipient. He said was proud to be part of great event; it was a great honor.

Mr. Draggon of Singh Development thanked the Mayor for the award.

Mayor Csordas thanked Sheryl Walsh and the entire staff of Novi for putting on the event.

PUBLIC HEARING

1. Special Assessment District No. 172 Ė Bentley and Blomfield Subdivision Water Main Extension Ė Public Hearing Number 2

Barbara Maxwell of 179 Penhill stated that homes in Novi for under $150,000 were slim to none; she found her home on Penhill and was able to get in on a wing and a prayer to keep her children in the same school. She was concerned about the costs that nonaffluent people would incur by this water main extension. She asked what the City had done to solve the problem of the vast expense for those who could not afford this project. She stated that the City water extension for the rich people at the end of the block was at the expense of the working class. She said she was a single mother who would have to spend her child support on that so that the millionaires who lived on Walled Lake didnít have to change water filters; that was how she felt.

Ms. Maxwell suggested that a solution that would be fair and equitable to all would be in a proration of the water extension based on property values. She said it was incongruous to expect someone with a 4,000 square foot home to have to pay the same amount as someone with an 865 square foot home. Given that the 4,000 square foot home had a greater SEV, it stood to be a greater profit to that person when they went to sell it. She didnít know if the City charter addressed the proration of expenses of property improvements, but she felt that it needed to be looked into.

Mayor Csordas noted that there were some responses from people in the special assessment district, which was 78 properties. He said that it appeared that they had a two and one-half to one majority and what we at least saw here still supporting this. He asked the feel of the City Administration as this was moving through as far as a majority of support in the area.

Mr. Helwig stated that Mayor Csordas had summarized it; the location of this building was adjacent to the other water line improvement that had been

implemented along West Lake. He said that was the process the City went through; it was self-generated by residents of the community. He said there were ways to address this individualís concerns in terms of hardships, in terms of financing; Administration would be happy to talk with the individual about that. In the end, it was City Councilís decision; tonight the City was looking for public input.

Member Nagy stated that the issue was before Council, this young lady, and she had asked a question about HCD funds. She realized that she was in the minority and understood her financial constraints; she thought at one point in life they had all been there. She really would like to see, since it behooved Council to vote no on something, when the majority of the residents wanted it. She also understood what she said about the inequity; there did seem to be something of an inequity for a 4,000 square foot house and an 800 square foot house. She asked if anything had been discussed with this lady in terms of some sort of aid since the last meeting.

Mr. Helwig stated that Administration didnít want to intrude on her personal situation unless she would like them to do that; he said they would be happy to assemble people to sit down and talk. He said Administration didnít want to presume something on the part of Council by doing that unnecessarily.

Member Nagy stated that it would be very difficult not to support something like that when the majority wanted it. She would really reiterate that she totally understood her circumstance; she would like to see her, should this pass this evening, sit down with the City and work out a solution because she thought there might be financial solutions.

Member Capello stated that in the commercial arena, the City charged a tap fee based upon the actual or potential water usage, so it could vary from a restaurant to a card shop. In a special assessment district, he asked Mr. Schultz if the City could assess a two-bedroom, one bathroom house differently than a six bedroom, four bathroom house because of the additional potential water usage for the larger home.

Mr. Schultz answered that he didnít think the City had ever done that kind of breakdown; it would be very difficult procedurally, and, in light of the fact that houses particularly in that area tended to redevelop, he wasnít sure in the end how equitable that would be to the people who paid the full amount. Just to confirm what Mr. Helwig said, there was a hardship exception in the ordinance that required input from the Council and the City Assessor. He thought it would be appropriate in that light, rather than changing the Cityís policies.

Member Capello asked Ms. Smith-Roy if there was a change in use in a commercial building, did the City reassess the tap fee.

Ms. Smith-Roy answered yes.

Member Capello asked Mr. Schultz if that was something that the City could do; that was, assess the lot at a certain rate and if there was an increase in bathrooms and bedrooms because of tear down and rebuild, that the additional assessment be paid to recoup some of the money that the City wouldnít be able to get up front.

Mr. Schultz answered that it would be unusual; it would be a significant change of policy. He asked whether, from an administrative perspective, that would be a doable process.

Ms. Smith-Roy answered that it would be very challenging; they really had only taken two approaches to the SAD investment portion. That was to either do it by SEV, the City had taken that approach before taxable value, or they had taken the linear footage approach. She said those were primarily the approaches they took because it was different than the capital charge for the tap unit itself. The tap units themselves were fixed and, as he described, they were different for commercial uses, but a single family home for tap unit was a tap unit; they didnít usually mix that allocation of cost the way they would with linear footage or whatever the assessment was for the special assessment.

Mr. Schultz stated that the lineal foot and the unit bases were really the recognizable ways to deal with at the Tax Tribunal and for the bodies that reviewed the Cityís decision.

Member Lorenzo stated point of order: The item actually wasnít supposed to be discussed this evening; it was just a public hearing.

Mayor Csordas stated that she was right, but since he messed it up a bit, he would allow one more question.

Member Paul asked Mr. Helwig that if Ms. Maxwell would like to come forward and have some questions answered, who he would recommend that she speak with.

Mr. Helwig answered that he would ask Mr. Klaver to do that; it was a very common role that he performed for the City with the Housing Community Development Committee.

Member Paul stated that she was shaking her head that it was something that she would desire; she would really like to see if the City could help her.

 

REPORTS:

1. SPECIAL/COMMITTEE Ė None

2. CITY MANAGER Ė None

3. DEPARTMENTAL Ė None

4. ATTORNEY Ė None

 

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION -- None

CONSENT AGENDA (Approval/Removals)

Member Nagy removed Item J; Member Lorenzo removed Item M for questions later on; Member Paul removed Item K.

CM-04-12-438 Moved by Landry, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Consent Agenda as amended.

Voice Vote on CM-04-12-438 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

CONSENT AGENDA: (Background information for Consent Agenda items is available for review at the City Clerkís Office)

A. Approve Minutes of:

1. December 6, 2004 Ė Regular Meeting

2. December 9, 2004 Ė Special Meeting

B. Acceptance of onsite and offsite water main and sanitary sewer as public utilities with corresponding 20-foot permanent easements for each utility from Central Park Estates, LLC for property located on Parcels 50-22-16- 300-054 and 50-22-16-300-055.

C. Approval for final payment for Novi Road water main extension completed as part of the Loiselle Building (Blinds to Go) to Bren-Mar Construction in the amount of $7,725.

D. Approval to accept the water main and related appurtenances constructed to service the Loiselle Building located at 26285 Novi Road as a public utility along with all documents conveying such to the City of Novi.

E. Approval of Final Pay Estimate No. 2 in the amount of $18,598.28 including retainage interest in the amount of $96.18 and Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 to Mago Construction Company for Special Assessment District 165 (Connemara Hills Water Main).

F. Approval of Final Pay Estimate No. 6 in the amount of $10,187.52 including retainage interest of $187.52 and Final Balancing Change Order No. 1 to Star Construction for Special Assessment District 170 Phase 1A (Maybury Park Estates).

G. Approval of Final Pay Estimate No. 8 in the amount of $25,067.86 including retainage interest of $369.27 and Final Balancing Change Order No. 3 to Thompson-McCulley for the Pioneer Meadows Subdivision road paving contract and the water main and sanitary sewer extension projects (SAD 162 and 163).

H. Approval of Resolution Number 5 for Bentley-Blomfield Subdivision Water Main Extension Ė Special Assessment District Number 172, setting the roll and creating the project.

I. Approval to purchase turn-out gear through the Tri-County Purchasing Cooperative from Apollo Fire Equipment in the amount of $5,985.

L. Approval of resolution to authorize the purchase of additional service credit by two employees.

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė PART I

1. Discussion of the Fiscal Analysis Report.

Mayor Csordas stated that he thought it was an excellent report; it had a lot of valuable information. Because of the agenda that Council had this evening, he was sure that City Council members would bring the information and knowledge to the budget session. Hopefully there werenít a lot of questions this evening from anybody on that.

Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig to give a brief overview.

Mr. Helwig thanked City Council for its support of the endeavor; Council did authorize funding to support Ms. Smith-Roy with Plante Moran, as well as other staff that she cited in the report. He stated that it was a document that Administration had wanted for some time; many of Council members and many staff members had asked the question, "Could we afford the City it was becoming and how do we best answer that question, how did it plan for those days far out where our property tax revenue was not increasing by 8 percent per year and covering the costs of additional personnel and equipment".

Mr. Helwig stated that the City had a very ambitious capital improvement program that may or may not be covered, depending upon how City Council reached certain choices and decisions in the future. He said basically what Council had was a set of projections called the base model, which was what the City was funding today in terms of services and staff, the City was a very labor-intensive organization, projected out through 2013. He said one of the surprises that the Cityís Finance Director, Kathy Smith-Roy had was that the City was in a Headlee override position two years from now. He said that none of Administration realized that; until you started thinking in multiple years and started planning out for a number of years, you didnít start to confront the reality of what may lie ahead.

Mr. Helwig said that a second model was what they called the budget request model; he said they didnít want to make any assumptions that Council had not already made or ratified, so Administration took the document that Council received earlier this year with all the service expansion requests and equipment requests, projected that out, and that was a much more serious challenge. Reality probably was somewhere in between those two models. He said that the City now had the ability in the Finance Department, with the help of Plante Moran, to, based on the decisions Council would be reaching, perhaps in goal setting and certainly in budget preparation, run, update those models and, on a constant basis, be able to tell you how a decision Council was making would impact the Cityís future long-range, not just near term.

Mr. Helwig stated that was basically what Council had here; there was benchmarking that gave the City an example of what other communities in Southeastern Michigan like Novi, built out or not, were doing in terms of services. There was also some very interesting land use data. He said realize that some had seen master plans elsewhere that included a fiscal analysis component; he said this really was meant as an ongoing reference document to be inserted in the Master Plan for easy reference, so that whenever those long-term decisions were being made, people were with ease able to find a fiscal impact component in terms of that land use. He said that was just fascinating; he applauded Ms. Smith-Roy and Plante Moran and our staff for compiling this all in one place.

Mr. Helwig stated that it was not meant for a one-time discussion; hopefully, it was something that was in easy reach whenever Council was making significant policy choices.

Mayor Csordas stated that what he liked about it was that it was that he thought it was the first time that the City had ever functioned with a business plan, and a long-range business plan. Council had been referring to the Master Plan as our planning document; he said it was not, not without that component. He said it was a prudent business plan, and he thought with the knowledge that Council would attain in that document when Council came to the budget sessions, it would be very interesting. He said that was true that the City would be subject to Headlee in two years; he didnít want to talk about any of that tonight because everybody had to have a chance to absorb this. It would be a very valuable document for the budget and very eye-opening; the City was very fortunate that it was done at this time in the its history which could allow Council, as current City Council and future City Councils, to make decisions that didnít put the City into deficit spending. He said Council could take a look at things like personnel, benefits, amenities for the City, etc., by a very well thought out and formulated business plan.

Member Lorenzo stated that she wanted to touch on things that both the City Manager and the Mayor touched on; that was, she had a concern that the document was unable to be utilized by the Planning Commission prior to the adoption of the Master Plan because, as Mr. Helwig stated, that was an integral part of a cityís Master Plan. She said there were areas that might need to be adjusted on the Plan, based on what was reflected in that document. She said that just a broad base of what was reflected in the document was that the City needed to continue to diversity and have a balanced approach between residential and nonresidential growth if the City didnít want to place a burden on ourselves as taxpayers in the future or have reduced service in the future. She was disappointed that, for whatever reason, from an administrative point of view that the plan was allowed to have been gotten to the point of being adopted without first having that element for review by the Planning Commission.

Member Lorenzo had a question for Mr. Schultz with regard to the Master Plan and the act that now established who was in control of the Master Plan; that was, did Council still have the ability to assert right over the Master Plan.

Mr. Schultz answered that he had a chance to look at the statute; he said the statute was still fairly new, and this was the first opportunity that the legislative bodies, like a City Council, had input or at least the chance to have input. He said the way the statute worked was, once the Planning Commission had approved the Plan, that became the Master Plan unless Council "has determined that it wants to be the final body". From his perspective, his reading of that statute was that it was now the Master Plan for the City; he thought Council, and it did so knowingly, had waived the opportunity with regard to this iteration of the Plan to be the final approving body. He said that was not to say that the Council couldnít suggest to the Planning Commission that it look at the analysis that had been prepared and possibly consider bringing forth an amendment, but that would have to go through the process. At that time, Council could again decide at the appropriate time whether it wanted to be the final approving body for that particular amendment.

Member Lorenzo said that from what she read from the act, it would take about three months to go through the process.

Mr. Schultz stated that did not include the time of the Planning Commission to deliberate.

Member Lorenzo said that was something that, as Council got into goal setting session and towards the budget, it was something that Council should be looking at and discussing, because she certainly was going to be looking at that Plan in conjunction with the Master Plan for long-term purposes. She stated that she would be utilizing that during goal setting and the budget, as the Mayor pointed out, it would be a very useful business plan and tool for the future. She also appreciated everyoneís involvement in that; it was an excellent document.

Member Nagy stated that she was on the Planning Commission and remembered thinking and asking that we have a fiscal analysis; she didnít regret very many votes, but now she regretted her vote that she had given the Planning Commission the final authority on the Master Plan. She had absolutely no idea why that fiscal analysis was not given to the Master Plan Committee and utilized in conjunction with the Master Plan. She realized that it wasnít ready during the time that she was there, but she would urge that the document be given back to them and maybe they needed to make amendments. She wasnít sure goal setting was too time consuming; they needed to look at that. It was not a matter of disagreeing with the Planning Commission; it was a matter of it now having had the benefit of that analysis. She also thought having the benefit of that analysis would have changed some of their planning in terms of zoning. She said that she would really like to see it go back now.

Member Nagy asked Mr. Schultz if there was a date that the Master Plan must be done by.

Mr. Schultz answered that there was a date in the statute that at least every five years the Commission had to decide whether to review the Master Plan; it didnít mean that it had to do anything, but it had to determine to review it.

Member Nagy said the last time was 1999.

Mr. Schultz answered 2004; it was just adopted by the Planning Commission a month or so ago.

Member Nagy stated that she didnít know where the failure was here with the communication, but she could not understand why the Master Plan and Zoning Committee and then the Planning Commission did not have that document when coming up with the Plan. She wanted to see if there was something available to be done about it.

Mayor Csordas stated that he didnít think there was any failure on anybodyís part; you have to remember that the Master Plan had been reviewed and revised many times without the benefit of something like this. So, even if this waited until next year, because it could be updated at least once every five years, which meant it could be updated again next year with this or additional fiscal information. He said it was a timing issue, for sure. The Master Plan needed to be done by a certain amount of time, the process had to be done, and the fiscal analysis was coming along for the first time in the Cityís history.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that it was an excellent document, and the information herein was a wonderful planning tool, but he would hate the record of this meeting to reflect that there was somehow anything wrong with our Master Plan; he didnít think there was. He didnít think the Master Plan was lacking in any way, shape or form. He said a lot of people spent a lot of time on the Master Plan; it was well thought out. Personally, he thought that Master Plans belonged with Planning Commissions, not City Councils.

Mr. Schultz wanted to point out that the statute did say what had to be in the Master Plan, and the Cityís Master Plan certainly contained all that information. He just wanted to make sure that everybody was aware of that; it was a complete, legal, and appropriate document.

2. Approval of settlement agreement for Grand Court of Novi to require owners to address building occupancy issues and upgrade fire protection systems.

CM-04-12-439 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve settlement agreement for Grand Court of Novi to require owners to address building occupancy issues and upgrade fire protection systems.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-439 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,

Nagy, Paul

3. Acceptance as public utilities the water main, sanitary sewer and interior roadway systems constructed to service Island Lake of Novi Site Condominiums, Phases 2B, 3A, 3B, 3C and 6 and acceptance of all documents and easements mandatory for City acceptance conveying such infrastructure to the City of Novi, along with the Act 51 New Street Resolution required by the Michigan Department of Transportation adding Dogwood Drive, Hillsdale Drive, Island Lake Drive, Ravine Drive, Shoreline Drive, Timber Trail, Seaglen Drive, Albatross Drive, Peninsula Drive, Acorn Trail, Samoset Court and Braeburn Lane.

CM-04-12-440 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Landry; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To accept as public utilities the water main, sanitary sewer and interior roadway systems constructed to service Island Lake of Novi Site Condominiums, Phases 2B, 3A, 3B, 3C and 6 and acceptance of all documents and easements mandatory for City acceptance conveying such infrastructure to the City of Novi, along with the Act 51 New Street Resolution required by the Michigan Department of Transportation adding Dogwood Drive, Hillsdale Drive, Island Lake Drive, Ravine Drive, Shoreline Drive, Timber Trail, Seaglen Drive, Albatross Drive, Peninsula Drive, Acorn Trail, Samoset Court and Braeburn Lane, with construction traffic restricted to Napier Road.

Mayor Csordas stated that he knew the dates were in there and asked if they had changed.

Member Lorenzo stated that the dates were not in the motion, unfortunately.

DISCUSSION

Member Paul asked Mr. McCusker, DPW Director, what part of the roads would be the main roads for construction to the west of this facility where the build out was not complete.

Mr. McCusker answered that in 2A, the original ones the City took over, the construction was done mostly to the west of it. He said that a lot of the construction traffic actually took the Napier Road side into the piece, so most of it was actually from the Napier Road side.

Member Paul asked if the City could ask the developer to keep the construction traffic on Napier Road, so when it headed eastbound into the site, then they wouldnít be going on the roads that the City was adopting as its own.

Mr. McCusker stated that they actually discussed with them before about limiting construction traffic in certain areas, especially the areas that were close to build out; they would be less intensive than the other ones, but weíll work with the developer.

Member Paul wanted an amendment to the motion that the City could have construction traffic aimed at staying on Napier Road so that the City didnít have adopted roads that would have construction traffic going through with cement trucks, etc. She looked at that from a financial standpoint because she was concerned; if the City took construction traffic off Wixom Road or off the Ten Mile area and head through the division, there would be some areas where concrete trucks going over roads the City had adopted. Her concern after being on the Financial Guarantee Committee was that those roads the City had the money for were for two years; it might be longer before it was completed, and there was a lot of heavy weight on the roads. The base could be altered; she didnít want to have to absorb that cost when the road bond money was up next year that would do the repair for that. She knew Council would accept Act 51 money; she would just like to see the construction traffic as much as possible off the roads that we would be paying for.

She wanted to see if that would be amenable to the maker of the motion to have construction traffic on Napier Road.

Member Lorenzo answered that at the meeting last time the representatives were at Council, they said they would do that as much as possible and actually put up signs. So, given that they made that commitment to the City, she would certainly be amendable to agreeing to that.

Member Paul just wanted that to be part of the Cityís legal document at this time, because she didnít want to have this be a long term financial responsibility for the City in regard to road repair. The City was already going to assume responsibility of the roads that werenít initially thought of, that was the question.

Jason Rickart from Toll Brothers stated that he could address that. He said as of right now, they had their Napier Road entrance as the main construction entrance. To reassure, at this point for these phases, they were at 97 percent built out, so they had a very small portion in that area that they were dedicating; it would be effective on July 1st, so theyíre predicting it to be about 99 percent at that time, based on the production that they had now. He said they would make their best efforts to keep all construction traffic coming off the Napier Road entrance.

Member Paul stated that she appreciated that. She asked Mr. McCusker how many miles of roadway would be had if they went off Wixom Road in through to the westbound portion of their site; how many miles would they have to go for their entrances.

Mr. McCusker answered that the only area that was impacted off Wixom Road right now was 3C; there was a little bit of construction in that area. He said that coming around off Napier Road most of the cement trucks were coming via Grand River or Napier Road anyway, so he didnít think it would be much of a problem.

Member Paul stated that with that portion of Napier Road being covered, she could support the motion.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-440 Yeas: Landry, Gatt, Lorenzo,

Nagy, Paul, Csordas,

Capello Nays: None

4. Approval of a two-year contract renewal with Community Emergency Medical Service. (This contract will continue to provide advanced life support services to our community with no cost to the City.)

CM-04-12-441 Moved by Landry; seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve a two-year contract renewal with Community Emergency Medical Service. (This contract will continue to provide advanced life support services to our community with no cost to the City.)

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-441 Yeas: Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,

Nagy, Paul, Csordas,

Landry

Nays: None

5. Consideration of the request of Singh Development for approval of a Final RUD Plan, modified RUD Agreement, Preliminary Site Plan, Wetland Permit and Storm Water Management Plan. The property is located in Section 30, south of Ten Mile Road, west of Wixom Road in the R-1, One Family Residential District with a development agreement. The applicant proposes a 439-unit single family site condominium development known as Legacy Parc (formerly known as Quail Hollow) on 325 acres.

Mike Kahm of Singh Development Company thanked Council for recognition earlier tonight; Singh had been in the community for 30 years and enjoyed being good corporate citizens.

Mr. Kahm stated that about a year ago, Singh was before Council for a RUD approval of that development; at that time the Council approved a development, including 439 lots. In that particular agreement, Singh had agreed in part to build about a mile and one-half of trail way within a park area that encompassed a total of 200 acres, 73 of which Singh was also dedicating to the City of Novi to allow for the connection to two disconnected pieces of property the City owned.

Mr. Kahm stated that they had appeared before the Planning Commission a few weeks ago and received a recommendation for a woodland permit, a wetland permit and storm water management permit. He said they did not receive a site plan approval. He wanted to address some of the things that were of concern to the Planning Commission at that meeting and try to explain some of the things that they tried to do to address those concerns.

He said that one of the things he wanted to point out, in addition to the trail way system that Singh was committed to put in, was they had two connections in the RUD plan that Council saw last year. He said one of the things they opted to do this year was to add an additional third connection; they wanted to try to make the access to the trial way system as convenient and as accessible as possible to a great deal of the community, which they now call Legacy Parc. He said it worked out fortuitously because there was an existing boardwalk over a wetland that was at the golf course right now; he said they had connected at the Boardwalk and then came across a fairly open upland area on the Cityís property to connect into the previously existing trail way area.

He said the largest discussion point last time was that Singh had added a community area, clubhouse, swimming pool and amenity areas for this development. He said in looking at other developments like theirs in the metropolitan Detroit area, they really came to the conclusion that amenity packages were really something of interest to people today and that they wanted to add and provide active recreation for the residents of Legacy Parc.

Mr. Kahm showed a blowup of what Singh proposed for the clubhouse, swimming pool area. He said there were two concerns that the Planning Commission had about that particular area: One was, in a City ordinance, Novi required an 80-foot setback for all the amenity areas when providing a community-based clubhouse-type amenity like Singh had in this proposal.

Mr. Kahm stated that in the plan presented to the Planning Commission, which Council had it its packets, Singh had amenity space outside that 80-foot setback. He said that the Planning Commission had concerns about that; so what Singh had done was to remove those amenity areas outside the 80-foot setback. He said they eliminated the tennis courts, which were previously on the plans that Council had, and created what they called a "sport court" in lieu of the basketball court. He said that could be basketball, in-line skating for the kids in the summertime; they were going to put a drain in the middle of it so that it could be frozen over for hockey or open skating in the wintertime. He said they slide the "tot lot" in a little bit, so the point was that they proposed this evening, they had smaller 11 by 17 copies to pass out, that was the clubhouse configuration that they proposed this evening with the site plan, in lieu of the one in the packets to address the location of those amenity areas.

Mr. Kahm stated that the other issue that was brought up was parking. He stated that in the previous plan, they had 25 parking spaces; the Planning Commission felt that Singh did not really address the demand that the facility might have for parking. He said that the City ordinance was fairly rigid, in that it required parking for half of the member families, which on a 439-lot subdivision, they would have 220 spaces, which Singh thought would be far in excess of what was necessary for a facility like that, particularly when it was for the use of the development only; it was not for public use. He said what they did was to go out and look at other developments in the metropolitan area and this general area that had that kind of facility, not the least being Island Lakes, to see what they did and to see whether or not Singh could find some rational percentage of parking to number of units that would make sense and would appear to provide the number of spaces necessary for a facility like that. He said that Island Lakes had 786 units; the parking lot at its facility, which had 9500 square feet, was 83, which worked out to be about 10.6 percent parking to units. He said that Hills of Bogey Lake in Commerce Township, a very nice community and used as somewhat of a model for what Singh did in their design, 262 units, 22 spaces, 8.4 percent. He said there was a development in Grand Blanc called Country Cottage Estates that had 10.2 percent.

Mr. Kahm said that what Singh proposed in its plan was to provide 50 spaces; it doubled the number of spaces that were presented to the Planning Commission, which equaled 11.4 percent. He said that Singh believed that number of spaces would be more than adequate to service the needs of Legacy Parc; that was particularly considering the fact that the clubhouse, if related to Island Lakes, was much more centrally located and much more accessible to many more of the lots. He said that Island Lakes took advantage of a peninsula it had on the lake, so that clubhouse was somewhat more removed. Mr. Kahm stated that this was really more of an integral part of the development.

Mr. Kahm stated that the last issue had to do with circulation, in that at some peak hour time there might be some circulation concerns at the entry to the subdivision. He said that when they designed the additional 25 spaces, it was to add another access point. For the most part, for people going to the clubhouse, to the swimming pool, to the amenity areas from the subdivision, they could enter either access point and really never need to enter the center point; he said that would be primarily for visitors going from off the property who might be visiting some family for the day.

Mr. Kahm also stated that Singh had a study done by Parsons Brinckerhoff, also in Council packet, traffic consultants, who looked at the concerns that were addressed about the circulation at the entry and felt that it really would not be a problem, particularly considering that the clubhouse would probably never be used at any peak hour times, either morning or evening; they were primarily weekend-type uses which really werenít going to have any kind of serious traffic congestion problems. He stated that he would answer questions Council might have.

DISCUSSION

Member Capello stated that you see ideas and different groups of people and they become circular; the RUD for Maybury Park over on Eight Mile Road was pushing Multi to put in active recreation such as a basketball court, a tennis court. He said Singh was now proposing to put it in and the City was asking them to take it out. He preferred the previous plan; he preferred to see the two tennis courts, the basketball court and the volleyball court. He said it offered more active recreation; it offered four different fields to play on as opposed to just one commingled with all three of them. He said it abutted Lot 198, but other than that, it seemed to just abut another arterial street, so he didnít really see where the setback would be that effective on any of the houses except Lot 198. He asked how far the setbacks were from Lot 198 under the plan that was in front of Council before Singh went to the Planning Commission and made the revisions.

Mr. Kahm answered that he thought it was about 25 feet.

CM-04-12-442 Moved by Capello, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the Final RUD Plan, modified RUD Agreement, Preliminary Site Plan, Wetland Permit and Storm Water Management Plan. The property is located in Section 30, south of Ten Mile Road, west of Wixom Road in the R-1, One Family Residential District with a development agreement. The applicant proposes a 439-unit single family site condominium development known as Legacy Parc (formerly known as Quail Hollow) on 325 acres, as amended with the plans that were presented to Council with two tennis courts, a volleyball court and the basketball court, additional parking and additional access to the clubhouse, subject to a ZBA waiver and subject to a building faÁade waiver.

DISCUSSION

Member Paul asked if he was proposing a change in what Council was seeing before it, giving a tennis court; Council didnít even have the information before it.

Member Capello stated that the information was in the packet that she would have reviewed.

Member Paul stated that what was before Council tonight was not what he was proposing.

Member Capello stated that he was proposing what was in Council packet; he said they had come tonight showing something different as a result of a Planning Commission meeting, but if she looked at her packet, what he was proposing was what was presented to Council in the packet. He asked her to look at drawing 2A, 2B and L11-18 to see where the tennis courts, the volleyball courts were.

Mr. Kahm stated that he just put the plan that Member Capello was referring to on the board; the only difference between this plan and the one in Council packets, was that this one also addressed the parking issue and also addressed the circulation issue. The plan on the board added the additional 25 spaces and it added the connection, but they left the amenity spaces exactly in the same location as Council had on its plan.

Member Capello stated that he would amend his motion to include the additional parking and the additional access to the clubhouse.

Member Paul asked if they were short of parking with the other amenities, were they still going to be able to put the extra spaces from the 50 that they now had into the areas that the tennis courts and the basketball area were being presented.

Mr. Kahm stated that the plan also had 50 spaces; there was no difference between this plan and that plan, except they left the amenities, the tot lot, the basketball court and the tennis courts, in exactly the same location as the plan in Council packets. He said it was kind of a hybrid; they tried to address this plan that he went through earlier addressed all three of the Planning Commissionís concerns; this one addressed the circulation and the parking but left the amenity locations as they were, but they were outside the 80-foot setback.

Member Paul asked if they needed the circular drive that was in the front of the entrance, since there were two other ingress/egress areas into this facility.

Mr. Kahm answered that the reason they put it there was frankly for emergency vehicle access; as emergency vehicles came in the entry, the fire station was right next door, it gave enough turning radius for an emergency vehicle to come in right in front of the clubhouse, so they thought they would leave it for that reason.

Member Paul stated that another concern when she read through some of the Planning Commission minutes was specifically if an emergency vehicle needed to get through and extra people were parked in that area, they would not be able to bring an ambulance or a fire truck through; she thought that was Mr. Pearsonís comments. She thought it was a very real comment that it could happen, say at a specific time of year there may be a large party and may have more than 50 cars parked. She asked if they would put "No Parking" signs in that area of concern, so that the emergency vehicles could get through.

Mr. Kahm answered that in the Parsons Brinckerhoff report, their consultant recommended that they place "No Parking" out there along the street; they agreed with that, they would place "No Parking" signs there so there would be no on-street parking allowed on that stretch of road. On-street parking would only be allowed on the tangential roads.

Member Paul asked about the circular drive.

Mr. Kahm answered that there would be no parking there as well.

Member Paul asked what was being done with the two structures that were currently there at Links of Novi; there was a maintenance building and the clubhouse building.

Mr. Kahm answered that they had no plans at this point. He said he was at liberty to announce that the Links of Novi Golf Course would be in operation for the 2005 season; even thought they own it, they made arrangements with the current owners to continue operation for another full season. It was their intention to actually not develop the subdivision until the 2006 season; so they would be utilized next year by the golf course.

Member Paul asked if they were not using the facilities if it would be possible to move one of those structures to another area that Novi could possibly use for a maintenance building at 06 or 07.

Mr. Kahm answered that anything was possible. He said they did look into the logistics of that; he had some very preliminary numbers for doing that. He had to say that under the current structure of the RUD, the trail system would cost them in the neighborhood of $1-million and it was only going up after they had a chance to investigate the site more. He said there was mile and one-half of trail, some of which they added at their own option; he admitted that the additional pathway would cost them money, but they thought it would be a betterment to not only their development but also the trail system. He said there was another close to $1-million investment in trying to create some active amenity space, again at their own volition. He said they thought they were making the development better and really a signature piece, theyíd like to think, for the City of Novi. He said it was a long way of answering that they were really to the point where it would be hard for them to put any more investment into the development. He said they were open to suggestions, but at this point under the current structure of the RUD development, he was afraid they were pretty much there economically.

Member Paul said that she understood and appreciated the trial system they were putting in; she also appreciated the amenities they were putting in, but with those amenities they were putting in, it still had the same density, so they had taken some space that was going to be spreading out the homes and increased the density. She said that since they were not using the structures in 06, there were several of the Cityís vehicles stolen out of Community Sports Park, three to be exact, and if there was a maintenance facility that was currently being used by Links of Novi that was just going to be wrecked down, she would love to see it be utilized at the City facility. She said the City didnít have a lot of extra money and would like to see if there was some way to do that. She said it would go down Napier Road, which had just been kind of trimmed for a barn to go down in that area, so she was looking for some assistance in a structure that would just be going into a heap.

Mr. Kahm stated that they would have no trouble all in allowing that structure to be moved once the golf course had finished operating; that would be fine.

Member Paul asked what the preliminary numbers were.

Mr. Kahm said that they actually spoke to the same company that moved the barn, Toll Brothers. Site unseen, based on a description of what the building was made of, how big it was, etc., theyíre probably looking at $25,000-$30,000 to move it.

Member Paul asked, when Singh increased the density from RA to basically R2, that was a significant cost and the trail was a significant cost, so she was looking at just one other area that would really assist the City, and Singh had been such a good partner she really thought it would be something that would be helpful for all of us. She appreciated their looking into that and hoped that they would possibly continue to look at that as an option, because $25,000-$30,000 was less than what one home would be in that area.

Mr. Kahm stated that the one thing they were going to do, before she even asked the question, was that the Park Foundation had been recently formed by the City of Novi; Singh Development was committing to sponsor a golf outing at the Links of Novi this summer to benefit the Parks Foundation. He said that they would commit to that tonight.

Member Paul still wanted them to look at the idea of maybe joining the City in a partnership to move that building so the City could have some of its vehicles placed there and not be stolen again. Thank you very much.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry commended Mr. Kahm for seriously considering the parking situation that the Planning Commission suggested in coming with a solution, because he was not in favor of street parking to support this community club area, but it seemed that Singh had done a very nice job in addressing that issue. He could support the motion with the additional parking that Singh added.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he liked where Member Capello was going with the idea of increasing the active recreation; he thought he was absolutely right. The City wanted to encourage residential developments to develop those things. He had a question for the City Attorney: If the majority of Council preferred to include the active recreation areas, there would be a waiver from a setback; he asked who would have to grant that waiver.

Mr. Schultz answered that the Zoning Board of Appeals, under the current structure of the RUD ordinance, would have to grant that.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that Council, if it were inclined, would approve this, subject to a ZBA waiver.

Mr. Schultz answered that it would be a good subject to, yes.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that it looked like there were two tennis courts that would be next to Lot 198 and Cardon Road and asked if they were going to be fenced.

Mr. Kahm answered yes.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if they were going to be lighted.

Mr. Kahm answered no.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated there would not be an issue for the owner of Lot 198 having lights there all hours of the day or night.

Mr. Kahm answered that the only lights they would have would be safety lights around the pool and, obviously, at the entry to the clubhouse; otherwise, no.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if Council needed to give Singh a faÁade ordinance tonight, or did it go along with what had already been proposed.

Mr. Schultz answered that the Planning Commission denied the site plan and did not know if they got to the waiver question; he didnít see that in the minutes. He said that Council had the final site plan authority, so he thought it would be appropriate for the Council to address that.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that that was preliminary site plan, correct.

Mr. Schultz answered that was correct.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked what was being requested tonight; Council had authority over the Final Site Plan.

Mr. Schultz answered that the Final Site Plan would be administrative.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that Council then had to address the faÁade question. He asked Ms. McBeth, Planning Director, if the only portion of the faÁade that did not meet City ordinance was the shingles.

Ms. McBeth answered that was correct; the pitch of the roof was a little bit too steep, so too much of the shingles were making up the building faÁade.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that personally he thought it was an excellent faÁade; he thought it met the spirit of the Cityís faÁade ordinance. He said the shingles didnít really bother him, so he would certainly be in favor of including that if the maker of the motion were so inclined to the suggestion that there be a faÁade waiver.

Member Capello stated that he would accept that; the seconder would also accept that.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he would echo Member Capelloís comments; he liked inclusion of the active recreation areas subject, so he could support it, with the parking, subject to a ZBA waiver.

Member Nagy stated that she would support the motion because, when she was on the Planning Commission at that time that group of people was seeking active recreation from the developers; she thought Singh had done a nice job and the concerns that some of the Planning Commissioners had had been addressed with regard to the traffic. She thought that the homeowner of Lot 198 would be aware of what he was buying, that he was close to the clubhouse and the tennis courts. She stated that she never was thrilled about the density, but density was something she always looked at. She thought Singh had done a very nice job on it; the active recreation was really an amenity for the community. She asked what happened; Singh went from Quail Hollow to Legacy Parc.

Mr. Kahm stated that it was more of an internal thing. He said Singh had several projects named Quail in them and it created a little bit of an internal problem.

Member Nagy stated that with regard to another member talking about moving the building, if the preliminary costs were $25,000-$30,000 to move a building, she thought the other question she would have would be what costs it would be to the City; there had to be other costs to the City as well. She wasnít that concerned about that; she knew Singh had incurred additional costs with regard to the trial system, but she did like the plan put forward and had always been an advocate of recreation, so she would support the motion.

Member Gatt stated that Singh never ceased to astound him; just when he thought he had seen it all, then along comes the project with improvements. He thought it was wonderful for the community. He thanked Mr. Kahm for the announcement that Singh would sponsor a golf outing for the Park Foundation. He would support the motion.

Member Capello stated Mr. Kahm had his hand up and wondered if he had another comment.

Mr. Kahm stated that Singh had a logistical concern. He stated that part of the packets also had an amended RUD agreement in them, which reflected the amenity spaces that were proposed, plus a different site plan because the road configurations were a little different. He stated that the RUD agreement would not be able to be finalized until the Zoning Board of Appeals took final action. He wondered, with Councilís indulgence if it chose to go that way, was if, in the event that Singh could not obtain Zoning Board of Appeals variances, that it needed to do that plan with the amenity spaces in the location proposed, he would ask Council to consider as an alternative approving this plan because they would be forced to go within the 80 foot setback. He said they still wanted to provide the amenity space; he agreed with Council and that was why they proposed it in the first place. He said they felt it was a better plan. He said the people who lived in the closer lots might like that fact, because the parkway actually went down between the lots so people with young children could access the active recreation without going out on the street. He said that some people would like that and want to be near it, so they thought there was a lot of merit to it but they did have to go the variance route. He wondered, in the event that Council chose to approve the plan in the event that Singh couldnít get the variance, if Council would consider that as an alternative.

Mayor Csordas stated that what Singh was asking was that if it went to the ZBA and it said no, then as a fallback Council would approve right now, if it were the case Council would by default approve the 80-foot setbacks or the appropriate setbacks.

Mr. Kahm answered that was correct.

Mayor Csordas asked if the maker of the motion was okay with that.

Member Capello stated that he was not real comfortable with that; he said it was not to give them a hard time. He asked Mr. Schultz for his comment.

Mr. Schultz stated that it was a policy question; he thought it could be set up so the ZBA understood the question before it. He thought the only difficulty would be sending a mixed signal to the ZBA right up front, but it really was a policy question for Council.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry appreciated the spirit within which the request was made; however, the ZBA was an independent body from Council. He said Council didnít oversee it; it couldnít. He said he would hate to see any applicant go to the ZBA and ask for a variance and the standard you had to prove was a hardship. He said if he was on the ZBA, he might say that Singh already got Council approval, whether ZBA gave it, so there was no hardship. He thought Council would be hurting Singh if it did that; he thought Singh would have a better chance if Council said no. He wanted to see those active recreation areas in there, so he thought for the interest, if the majority of the Council was interested in seeing the active recreation, it should tell you no, it would be subject to a ZBA variance. Come back to Council if it didnít get the ZBA variance, because he wanted the ZBA to give it and you needed to prove hardship to get it.

Member Capello asked if Mr. Schultz was sure if within the RUD agreement on interior streets that a ZBA variance was needed for that type of a setback, Council couldnít just approve it through the RUD agreement.

Mr. Schultz answered that they looked at that, because it was a fair question, but the RUD was set up with really a limited waiver authority for the Council; he said that might be something Council might want to look at in the future. He stated they had been authorized to look at the RUD; one of the things that they would probably recommend was instead of just varying density and things like that, maybe Council would want to give itself more authority, but, as written now, unfortunately, Singh was stuck with the ZBA.

Mr. Kahm stated that the reason he posed that question was because there was a timing problem; Singh needed to have the amendment executed in January, unless there was some way the administration could help Singh get on the January ZBA meeting, he asked for sympathy because Singh was really contractually obligated to bring this to a conclusion this next month.

Mayor Csordas stated that he thought Council could do that. He asked Mr. Helwig if Council could get Singh on the next ZBA meeting.

Mr. Helwig stated that Administration tried to please Council every way it could. He stated that Administration would do its best; he had no idea without talking to Mr. Saven to know what the agenda looked like.

Mayor Csordas stated that it was interesting to him that Village Oaks wasnít used in the study because it had this event in the summer with a nice parade. He said every time he went, people were delighted with the swimming pool and all the amenities; it was one of the Cityís older communities but it was a tremendous amenity. It had a swimming pool, a very nice clubhouse and 10 parking places, he thought. He thought that 50 were too many parking spaces, but that was the motion and it was okay. He stated that amenities like that were what Council had been asking for and it was great; he commended Singh for doing that. He stated that it didnít appear to be visible from Ten Mile, so he didnít see that being an issue. He supported it.

Member Paul asked wetland consultant Dr. Tilton if there were 58 or 59 homes on the wetland buffer and wanted to know if there were any that were not just on the wetland buffer but maybe a foundation portion would be in a wetland or wetland buffer that he was concerned about the actual structure being stable.

Dr. Tilton answered that all the structures appeared stable, none of the structures had to have any wetland fill, and the buffer was adjacent to a huge wetland that extended for almost a half a mile, so a little bit of buffer in a residential lot didnít seem to be a concern.

Member Paul asked if there was any type of education that Council could provide to them; she said many people didnít know what to do with their wetland. She asked how it could be done with so many being in the buffer.

Dr. Tilton answered that Singh had one of the better track records in the City with educational signage and working with its homeowners and the builders, educating them about the restrictions on the buffers. He understood they would agree with the signage and go through that process with the project.

Member Paul asked Mr. Kahm to verify that for the record that Singh would be educating the homeowners in the 58-59 homes that were in the buffer and that there would be signage there.

Mr. Kahm stated that they agreed on the Exhibit B drawings at the Planning Commission meeting they would shade or cross-hatch all of the buffer areas and then provide for the restrictions in the area very clearly in the Master Deed and Bylaws.

Member Paul stated that a neighbor of hers was in the wetland buffer but the foundation was actually in the buffer; they didnít do proper fill and they lost a portion of their foundation, which is a huge expense. She just wanted to make sure that wasnít the case in that situation.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-442 Yeas: Gatt, Lorenzo, Nagy,

Paul, Csordas, Landry,

Capello

Nays: None

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION

A citizen was there to voice his concern on the trial that Singh was trying to add on. He purchased property on Nine Mile Road which backed into the wetlands which backed into the golf course. He was concerned that the trail went close to his property; he felt it would harm his property in that the value would go down and privacy would be another concern. He asked that the trail be moved from his property, maybe not build it.

Mayor Csordas stated that he appreciated that, but the decision had already been made.

Elizabeth Brickett of 2005 West Lake Drive, part of the Bentley Subdivision, and wanted to comment on that. She wanted to show support for the lady who came and had a hardship case; she was also a single parent with two children. She said as a single parent sending two children through college; she was only eight years from retirement. She had lived in the community for 25 years, raised a family here and would like to think it was the kind of family Novi would like to have, but she was trying to hold onto her house. She said the closer she got to retirement, the closer she got to the edge of not being able to hold onto her home. She said it didnít seem fair that she worked all her life and the City would impose things that would be impossible.

She said the other thing was that if the water went by her house, it didnít mean she would tap in; she couldnít afford that. She looked to the hardship brochure, you could spread it out over 20 years but actually only pay the interest until you sold, but if you never sold, she would only pass that debt on to her children.

She came tonight because she was impressed with the wisdom of Council; she said if there were creative ideas, just because it had never been done before didnít mean there was not something it could do to help her: by bathroom, by square footage, if you didnít tap in, that would be her choice and you then didnít have to pay. She said the City owned several lots, and the City was not planning to pay anything because there wasnít a house on those, but if it passed her house and she didnít tap in, she didnít see how that was any different. She said if that was not possible, she would at least like Councilís ideas.

Mayor Csordas recessed the meeting at 8:48 p.m.

Mayor Csordas called the meeting back to order at 9:05 p.m.

MATTERS FOR COUNCIL ACTION Ė PART II

6. Approval of Final Pay Estimate Number 8 and Final Change Order Number 2 to Anderzack-Pitzen for South Lake Drive Improvement in the amount of $87,491.81 including retainage interest in the amount of $1,356.63.

Member Nagy had a question: She was curious about including retainage interest; she wanted to know where it was in the contract.

Mr. Helwig asked Ms. Smith-Roy if she could answer the question.

Ms. Smith-Roy stated that it was not in the contract itself; it was actually a state statute that required the City to pay that interest. She said it was unique to governmental entities; it was not true of the corporate sector.

Member Nagy stated that she had a lot of concerns; the City did an awful lot of work there: There was the South Pointe parking lot, pump stations, catch basins failures. She wanted to know if Council could have an accounting of all the work that was done by the DPW versus Anderzack-Pitzen. She was concerned that since the City did all of that work, why it was paying Anderzack-Pitzen $87,491.81.

Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig if it was the Administrationís recommendation to pay that, which would indicate that everything was up-to-date.

Mr. Helwig answered that it was, but in reference to Member Nagyís question, he asked Mr. McCusker, DPW director, to come forward because the Administration had worked closely with him and had attached a memorandum from him, and the City had aligned those dollar amounts with what they had worked with the contractor and the engineer to absorb. He asked Mr. McCusker to summarize.

Mr. McCusker stated that there were a number of projects that were directly related to the new construction, and there was a lot of existing projects that were probably lying around for a number of years that really became more focal when the road was completed. He said that some of the projects DPW did was down at the Bellarsí house was a large one from 1207 down to 1255; they probably spent $20,000 down there and the contractor and the engineering company were actually taking some of the costs on those pieces of the project. He thought the gas company originally caused some of the problems down there and the subcontractor caused the other problems.

Member Nagy stated that she knew Council was past the point of South Lake and she realized the design by the engineering company did not include the side streets. She said people had mentioned the drainage problems on some of the side streets; she asked if that was something that the DPW had done as well.

Mr. McCusker answered that the DPW had cleaned up some of the areas against the adjoining streets coming down onto South Lake, so there wasnít a problem where it met South Lake Drive.

Member Nagy asked Mr. McCusker if he anticipated any other problems.

Mr. McCusker answered that the DPW didnít anticipate anything right now; they would watch it in the future. It was a kind of wait and see.

Member Nagy asked if the problem with the sump pump was solved.

Mr. McCusker answered that it was the sump pump at the Bellarsí residence and it was corrected.

Member Nagy stated there was a problem with the man with drainage in his driveway.

Mr. McCusker answered that DPW put in some drainage in a couple areas adjacent to the roadway.

CM-04-12-443 Moved by Landry, seconded by Capello; MOTION CARRIED: To approve Final Pay Estimate Number 8 and Final Change Order Number 2 to Anderzack-Pitzen for South Lake Drive Improvement in the amount of $87,491.81 including retainage interest in the amount of $1,356.63.

Member Capello stated that there were more questions that needed to be answered and some more information, but maybe if Council was going to postpone this would be to let Administration know what Council needed to bring, so in that vein, he would support the motion for discussion purposes to advise Mr. McCusker and Administration what Council looked for when it came back in January.

Mayor Csordas asked how long Council would postpone paying those people.

Member Capello stated that he would like to see, this packet was rather thin and in most cases it would be acceptable, but given all of the problems on South Lake Drive, he wanted to see a copy of the contract with the contractor, a copy of all the pay applications and sworn statements that went along with that to back check to see what had been paid and what hadnít been paid. He asked if there was work done by the City on catch basins or manholes.

Mr. McCusker answered that the City actually repaired some manholes that failed; those costs were in the $16,000 that they were talking about being reimbursed for.

Member Capello asked if that was being reimbursed to the City or a credit given back.

Mr. McCusker answered credit given back.

Member Capello asked if there was a list that Council could see what went into that $16,000.

Mr. McCusker answered yes. He said it was a thick packet which had daily timesheets, daily equipment logs, plus materials.

Member Capello said that he was just looking at the general categories of work performed under the contract or punch list.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry said that the problem he had with postponing it was the third paragraph, "If payment is received before yearend and on the December 20 warrant, Giffels-Webster has agreed to forego rights to additional inspection days which offsets the third item on the list." He said that it appeared to him if Council didnít pay this, there would be other costs the City would incur. He asked Mr. McCusker if that was correct.

Mr. McCusker answered if they came back for reinspections, the City would be charged for it.

Mr. Helwig stated that Administration provided a report May 13 to Council with its expectations of how the project would wrap up; he said Administration had been working with not only DPW but the contractor and the engineer to do that. He said it had been difficult; he was going to make reference to the letter that Mayor Pro Tem Landry just made reference to. He said it would exacerbate things, Council had that prerogative, if there was something further that was needed but it would exacerbate to the point of threatened litigation against the City because it caused them a financial hardship, the City had withheld payment now for many months while it had tried to sort through the final $83,000 on almost a $2.2-million project. He asked Councilís serious consideration of that in trying to resolve that. He said they had not included any of the costs that the DPW invoked for moving the dirt at the landing. He made comment about that before in terms that there had been an administrative individual who gave approval for that berming to be done that was not authorized, so the Administration didnít feel the City could go back to the contractor for those costs. He said that Mr. McCusker had provided a previous memorandum; he thought the perception still lingered that things that none of them would like at the end of the project of adjoining streets somehow should have been resolved with that project. He said it was never intended to resolve that; even the entrance to Lake Shore Drive was something the City should have done a long time ago, and it so happened that this was the time to do it when it had a major street improvement. He said in Administrationís opinion, that street was serving the community very well, and it was time to settle what was due to the contractor and to the engineer. He asked Councilís serious reconsideration of that because he wasnít sure where it would go in terms of the contractor.

Mr. Schultz offered for Council consideration that the project was covered by a contract which specifically talked about when payment could be withheld; they had a review by City Administration that indicated that all the paperwork more or less was in, the job was done, and bonds had been submitted, and the only one that really applied from the list in the contract was defective work not remedied; he didnít know, City staff could address whether or not that really fell into that category.

Mr. Schultz said the other aspect of that was that there was a provision in the contract that allowed the City to deduct from amounts due, but it had to be based on specific work that was performed by the City, with proper notice and opportunity for the contractor to correct. He thought one of the things that the City staff had done through Mr. McCusker was determined, because when Secrest was asked the question did they deduct for this, Secrest gave the general advice that all the paperwork had to be lined up and put together the right number that related to the amount to deduct and it was his understanding that that was what was before Council. He stated that a particular deduction had to be fit into a particular 12hole; that was part of Councilís deliberation and what staff had presented.

Mayor Csordas stated that Council had a memo that showed that there had been deductions from contractor invoice.

Mr. Schultz stated those amounts in the memo from the City staff seemed to fit within the requirements of the contract and a the contractor had at this point agreed that it was what he would accept as a deduction, so he offered that for Council consideration.

Mayor Csordas stated that he appreciated that, but he personally couldnít support a postponement; this had been a long-time coming and there was recommendation from Administration to settle up on the payment, especially when talking about litigation and incurring more expenses. He didnít know why Council would even consider postponing it.

Member Paul stated that the only reason she looked to postpone was when Mr. and Mrs. Bellars, residents at West Lake Drive, had a cut in their sump pump, she had asked if a dye test could be done on all that area. She said what had happened was that they had a sump pump that was cut in half right along side their sprinklers and their electric line. She said what happened then was that the water that came from around the base of their home emptied out and the sidewalk sunk, the pavement sunk. They had to go in by hand and go around a gas line to dig, one person at a time, to find out where the lines were and figure out what was broken, what was cut. She didnít know how many sump pumps were cut along that area; she requested that probably two months ago. She didnít know if that had ever been done; she felt that she didnít have that information to know that there was not more damage in that area. She said if one person cost $26,000 and the City hadnít tested that area, she really didnít feel comfortable that there werenít other sump pumps that were cut, so that was where she was coming from. She said that was a lot of money for the City crew to be out there for several days digging by hand around a gas line because the City had no underground project maps; she had concern, if the City didnít have them in, why would the City give money back out.

Mr. Helwig, in response to Member Paulís concern, asked Mr. McCusker to go into some detail about it, because he thought there were erroneous perceptions about the role of the contractor and what occurred out there. He stated that the $26,000 covered three properties.

Mr. McCusker stated that when the DPW was out there, it was actually taking care of a problem where existing sumps from the lake were actually back flowing to the properties. The DPW found a lot of extra water out there; the Bellars had called a number of times about their sump pump continuously running. The gas company went out and had separated up near the house when they were putting in services, and subsequently they repaired it and gave Bellars a check for a couple hundred dollars for repairs. Mr. McCusker stated that it didnít take care of the problem; later on the DPW was back out and found a sink hole in the bike path. He said what had happened was that one of the subcontractors, whether the gas company or one of the subs to the contractor, cut the edge drain that the sump pump was going into and the sump, although it was fixed by the house, it was pushing the water up underneath the bike path instead of going into the edge drain because the edge drain was collapsed or broken at that point; the DPW went back in and repaired that; subsequently, at the same time, tied in all the rest of the sump pumps so the DPW knew where they would be at and then ran them to the ditch line on the adjoining street. That took care of all of the water that was sitting in the front yards, plus the sump pumps at the same time.

Member Paul asked if there was a possibility that there was another sump pump that could be cut.

Mr. McCusker answered that they probably would have seen something by now because of the amount of rain weíve had; that was really what happened. He thought the Bellarsí was probably running for a while, we had such a dry spell and when it finally got surcharged with the water was when it took the dirt away real quick; with the amount of water the City had seen in the last month and one-half, we would have seen something by now.

Member Paul asked Mr. McCusker if he thought the dye test was necessary to confirm all of that.

Mr. McCusker answered that he would rather go back after the maintenance bonds. He said if they found something larger in the area, there was a two-year maintenance bond; just grab a maintenance bond and do it that way.

Member Paul stated that her understanding was there were only two ways to get the maintenance bonds; one of them would be if the city had given its contractor a two-week or four-week timeframe to actually perform the work; that had to be done in written format. She wanted to know if that had ever been done.

Mr. Schultz answered yes, there was a process that had to be gone through under the maintenance bond; he thought it was typical to give the contractor the first opportunity to remedy whatever defect the City had identified at its own expense, not at the Cityís expense and inconvenience. If they failed to do that, the purpose for the bond was to get reimbursement to the City, if the City ended up having to do the work. Again, he didnít know if he was clear enough the first time around, the contract had that same notice provision in it, too; what the City did was go over all of the work that the City performed on the project and determined which ones were properly notified, gave the opportunity, and that was the amount that the staff had said it could confirm that it was an appropriate amount for the City to deduct from the payment it owed. Beyond that number that was before Council, there was not a clear basis for the deduction.

Member Capello stated that some of his questions were being answered; he could remember a year and one-half or so ago, when they were finishing up on the job and the City had a problem because they refused to come back and finish up the punch list work; so when he looked at coming to the end of the project, he thought that there had to be a lot more than $16,000. When a contractor at the end said he was done and not coming back, there were probably a lot of little things to do and doing it in-house probably saved the contractor money but he was expecting a much bigger deduction than this. He understood that Mr. Schultz was saying that there probably were a lot of items that the City did but it didnít give the contractor notice and opportunity to cure before the City went out and did the remedial work.

Mr. Helwig stated that the contractor was back this summer; he thought maybe the lingering perception was that the contractor walked a year and one-half ago, but that was not the case.

Member Capello stated that was his perception; if he came back, this was the first that he heard he ever came back. He said there was a long period of time there when the City had to finish up the job, and he thought the City took it upon itself to do it.

Mr. Helwig stated that we got into a wintertime period and they were gone until the summer again.

Member Capello asked what the amount of money was where the City probably did the contractorís work but didnít give proper notification and had to eat it.

Mr. Schulz answered that he wanted to be clear; he certainly did not mean to say that the issue was reviewed and it was found that notice wasnít given. He said that was a determination that the staff had made internally; they had not been asked to talk about notice for particular items. He said that was a staff-determined number that he was trying to make sure that if we went beyond that number, we would need some indication as to why that number didnít resolve the matter.

Member Capello stated that it seemed that there were a lot more issues that came up in front of Council than these three small little issues that were set forth on the December 4th memorandum. He said that in his mind before he could justify releasing the rest of the money, he would like to see the documentation so he could see where the big misunderstanding was from a year ago until tonight.

Member Lorenzo stated that she totally agreed with the previous speaker. Her concern was that, although the staff prepared that list, perhaps Council was not receiving the all-encompassing list of all of the items that were worked on. She didnít know if some of the things were charged to the road fund and the drain fund, or whatever, but she wanted a complete list of what DPW did, what materials they used, how much man time they used; she didnít see that with three items here. From what she recalled, they were out there constantly doing this, that or the other thing. Maybe Mr. McCusker or Ms. Smith-Roy would know all the particulars in terms of what asphalt or anything else that had to be invoiced or what other funds were accessed for this; that was what she was looking for, a complete list. She said if the City did not inventory it correctly or did not give the contractor time to do certain things, then she wanted to know that, too, because she would consider that administrative error. Also, she wanted to know if the City was eating $16,572.84; when it said total DPW costs, did that mean the City was absorbing that cost.

Mr. McCusker answered that the contractor and the engineering firm had agreed to; of the $16,000, those were the deducts.

Member Lorenzo asked about the $26,072.78.

Mr. McCusker answered that part of that deduct was $8,000 from Giffels and $8,000 from the contractor.

Member Lorenzo asked what the other $8,000 comes from.

Mr. McCusker answered that was the Cityís $8,000 for the other stuff DPW did that was beyond the scope.

Member Lorenzo stated that maybe that was part of the problem, beyond the scope. She wanted to know what exactly was done and why it was beyond the scope. She said that was what she wasnít seeing there. She just recalled that DPW was out there for a long period of time, and it wasnít just the three things.

Mr. Helwig stated, with all due respect, weíve commented on the project at length; Administration had provided in response to Member Nagyís concern a report in May about how it thought the project would wind up. He said there were no surprises there; they had provided Mr. McCuskerís memo to the Council on October 6th about the general drainage patterns in the lake area and the impact. He said that was more baggage from the past that this Administration had been asked to clean up.

Mr. Helwig said there had been a lot of activity along South Lake Drive, and, quite honestly, he was very proud of it, because the whole area needed it. He said the side streets needed it. The issue there where the City was absorbing one-third of it was because the three property owners were not being well served by either the gas company, the contractor or just the general lay of the land. Please recall, that all started by separating the bike path eight feet away from the road, which was a Council decision; it was not an administrative decision. He said the whole effort to clean up the front entrance to Lake Shore Park was long overdue and related to a lot of drainage issues; it didnít have anything to do with the road project.

Mr. Helwig stated that he couldnít make up another list in three weeks; he had said they had sinned he didnít know how many times on the landing property, and someone didnít have their job there partially because of that. He said Administration had negotiated with the two firms involved to take deducts; the one firm said it was good for this calendar year. He didnít know what else they could do; he relied on Mr. McCusker for that report, and he didnít know what more they could do on that.

Member Nagy stated that since she was one of the people constantly asking questions about that and she had gotten reports from Administration, from Mr. McCusker and since Mr. McCuskerís recommendation was to pay the $87,000.

Mr. McCusker stated that he would just as soon be done with the contractor and the engineering firm; if something happened in the future, he would prefer to go after the bonds.

Member Nagy stated that she did not want to put the City in litigation over $87,000. She said she might not be happy with the contractor and the engineering drawings, but there had to be an end to that. She said, since her questions were answered about the retainage interest and enough material had been provided there, she preferred to pay it.

Member Gatt concurred with Member Nagy totally; he also concurred with Member Capello. He thought there were questions in this matter and a lesson for the future; however, he would go along with Mr. Helwigís explanation. He thought that South Lake Drive was an area of the City that needed a lot of work for a long time, and it looked better today than ever before. There were sins of other Councils and other decisions that the City was paying for now, and it was time to close the matter and move on.

Mayor Csordas agreed with the two previous speakers for all of the things they said; he would not support a postponement.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-443 Yeas: Gatt, Nagy, Csordas,

Landry, Capello

Nays: Lorenzo, Paul

7. Approval of Change Order #1 to contract with Giffels-Webster Engineers for the South Lake Drive Reconstruction in the amount of $32,420 for total contract of $223,350 (applying same 12% percentage to actual construction contract amount).

DISCUSSION

Member Capello stated that he had the same problem with this as he did previously; there were too many questions unanswered and not enough information in the packet. He asked if the contract with Giffels-Webster was a fixed price contract; was it a 12 percent. He saw some information that said it was a fixed price not to exceed 12 percent.

Mr. Pearson stated that there were two contracts; one was for the original design and then one was for the construction administration and inspection. He said Giffels-Webster based their proposal upon 12 percent to the actual construction costs. He said the problem, frankly, was self-created on their part when the motion sheet was written up back when it was first approved, which was not to exceed X dollar amount, which was the calculation of that percentage on the estimate. He said, of course, when it was bid out and had the actual number, that was what the City was going back to make good on that percentage application. He said that the motion and what Council approved said not to exceed; thatís why it was before Council, but their proposal was on that percentage. Again, as Mr. Helwig noted, that had been referenced and anticipated through the correspondence to date.

Member Capello asked what the contract amount would be based on if it were a not to exceed 12 percent.

Mr. Pearson answered that the problem was in the motion when they approved the contract that said not to exceed $190,000; it didnít say the percentage in the motion. He said that was Administrationís fault in how it was set up.

Member Capello asked how their fee was based; if it said not to exceed, it had to be based on something.

Mr. Pearson answered that it was 12 percent upon the estimated construction, which was $1.58-million. He said that was how, in the third line of the motion sheet, it was that $1,591,000 x 12 percent; that was how the original $190,000 was derived.

Member Capello asked how it went from $190,000 to the $220,000.

Mr. Pearson answered that went down to the fifth or sixth line, which was the actual construction cost of $1,861,000; that had been adjusted for the deductions times that same percentage. He said that was how you got to the $223,350.

Member Capello stated that Mr. Pearson was saying that the $190,000 should have really been a not to exceed 12 percent.

Mr. Pearson answered yes; if it had been set up that way, we wouldnít be here tonight for that.

Member Capello asked if the percentage never fluctuated, why would you say not to exceed 12 percent; it would be 12 percent or not 12 percent, not like an interest rate that was variable.

Mr. Pearson answered that the problem was they didnít say not to exceed 12 percent; they said not to exceed $190,930 in the motion, even though there was a percentage in the contract.

Member Capello stated that you wouldnít need to put a cap on a contract that had a percentage. He was trying to understand the mathematics here. You were saying that it shouldnít have been just a number, which was a normal not to exceed; it should have been a percentage. If you had a percentage as your fee, you wouldnít need a not to exceed; the percentage would be the percentage.

Mr. Pearson answered that it was just a matter of how the motion was set up for Councilís consideration.

Member Capello asked what the contract said.

Mr. Pearson answered that there was no contract; all they did was accept their proposal, which said 12 percent of construction. In the motion from April, they said not to exceed $190,930; there wasnít any statement of that percentage in that motion in April.

Member Capello stated that he thought for sure, he remembered looking at that closely because they werenít the lowest bidder from what he remembered, a contract came back and Council looked at an actual contract that it approved with them.

Mr. Pearson answered he didnít believe so to his recollection.

Member Capello asked if Council just approved their proposal; he asked if that was how they normally hired an engineer.

Mr. Schultz answered that the City had done it both ways; the City Attorney had prepared, and he thought used since then, sort of a form "Professional Engineering Contract". For example, he thought Council might have approved that with the OHM contract recently, but he thought using the invoice and the written proposal a fairly typical practice for the City; it appeared that it was the process that was used. He said the proposal, as Mr. Pearson said, from Giffels-Webster was not to exceed 12 percent of the actual construction costs. He said that was their April 14th letter; Councilís April 21st motion was apparently not to exceed $190,000. He said Giffels, at this point, indicated that they understood that to mean based on their proposal, without specific discussion at Council, their 12 percent not to exceed, which was estimated to be $190,000.

Member Capello stated okay, he would take those, but why would they even have language in there to say not to exceed 12 percent of actual. It would be 12 percent of actual; they were the ones that started us down the road of not to exceed. He asked if Council sent a letter to say that City Council had accepted their proposal. He asked what the language was in the letter; did it say not to exceed $190,000. He said he was going through all of that because he was not happy with the work they did for the City; he didnít want to give them a nickel more than they had to. He asked what the acceptance letter of their proposal said.

Mr. Pearson answered if it was any consolation, the City was not giving a nickel more than the 12 percent of the construction costs. He said they were not suggesting or endorsing or anything more than that; all they were sticking to was that 12 percent, as Member Capello referenced, everyone knew about, agreed to, and just doing the math, to apply that to the actual construction costs and making good on that.

Member Capello stated we were making good on that if the proposed letter didnít say the City was accepting a proposal subject to.

Mr. Pearson answered if they had said that, even if they would have, they still would have been here, because the motion that Council adopted, for whatever reason when Administration set that up and gave it to Council, it said not to exceed $190,930; it didnít say the percentage. If Administration had added that percentage in there; in retrospect, it should have been done.

Member Capello stated that Council approved the motion; if Council just took the motion and passed it on to them as accepting their proposal and thatís what Council accepted. He stated that was one issue; the other issue he had was what their scope of work was. He didnít have that information in front of him; he wanted to see in their proposal what their scope of work was to be. He really wanted to set this one over; he understood Administration wanted the City to pay the contractor and youíve convinced Council to do that; this one he wanted to make a motion to postpone until the second meeting in January. He wanted to see back their proposal, including their scope of work, the Cityís acceptance letter of their proposal, pay applications and sworn statements from them. He promised that he would sit down before that meeting and go over them and have no questions left when he came to the meeting.

CM-04-12-444 Moved by Capello, seconded by Nagy; MOTION CARRIED: To postpone until second meeting of January to approve Change Order #1 to contract with Giffels-Webster Engineers for the South Lake Drive Reconstruction in the amount of $32,420 for total contract of $223,350 (applying same 12% percentage to actual construction contract amount).

Member Paul agreed with the previous speaker and also had some other things that she would like to see added to the list of things. First of all, she wanted to know if it was a common practice to divide up the construction engineering and the actual design engineering.

Mr. Pearson answered that Administration set them up for proposals to give us both; it was their discretion whether to award the second part to go forward to construction, which was what happened in that case. He said nine times out of 10, it was Administrationís recommendation to continue with that firm because they had the best knowledge with it, which was again what happened there.

Member Paul stated that she could understand that, but when they went out to bid and they got both, she wanted it to be an actual bid and not a questionable bid. She said she looked at a document dated April 14th of 2003 and there was Giffels-Webster Construction Engineering for $159,500; now itís up to $223,000. She said she had a really difficult time with that. Also, when the City had the actual construction engineering, if there was not an actual number, just a proposed number, she thought they had to rebid it. She said they either rebid both the construction and design engineering together so that they had actual dollar amounts; she would like to have a not to exceed always and not any questionable 12 percent, because they went from $159,500 to $223,000, which was way more than 12 percent.

Member Paul went through the language in the actual bid; there were several statements, in paragraph 5.6 locating work, the contractor was going to be responsible for basically his layout and the City paid Giffels-Webster $32,000 to do that when the contractor themselves that were doing the work were supposed to do that. On another page, samples and testing, 5.10, it talked about the testing laboratory at the contractorís expense; that was the independent contractor. She said we paid Giffels-Webster $65,500; if they proposed in their contract to have the contractor absorb that cost in their work, she asked why the City was paying them. She said that was an amount of over $90,000, and now they were looking for $32,000 more. She wanted clarification from a legal standpoint if that was really allowed in contract law. She said it was staggering to her that the City went from $159,000, 12 percent of that would be $19,140 at $178,640; weíre already at $190,000 going to $223,000. She would support the motion to postpone. She said with that she would like all the project changes, because when she was at the Bellar residence, the DPW workers didnít know where the gas lines were; they didnít know where some of the electrical lines were. So she wanted all project changes, as built; all underground electric, water, drain, sewer and gas. She said when that happened and she had all the project changes, she would like to hear those answers before she continued.

Member Capello stated that to answer Member Paulís question, what you would need would be the general construction contract with the general contractor, those pay applications and those sworn statements, combining those with Giffels should answer her questions.

Member Nagy agreed with Member Paul; she had a concern regarding the inspection and remembered the figure of $159,000 and was concerned about how the City got to $223,000. She wanted the inspection part explained and wanted the document provided to everyone.

Member Lorenzo stated that she fully supported what everyone else had stated; she also had a concern regarding performance issues, particularly and specifically the soil erosion noncompliance issues which were very embarrassing for the City with the MDEQ. She asked if the City had anything in the contract that went to performance issues in terms of deductions.

Mr. Schultz stated that he would be happy to add that to the list.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he did not support the motion; he said what was happening here was that a lot of people were disenchanted with what Giffels-Webster had done on the project. He said it was time to put an end to that contract. He said what was before Council tonight was very simple; when Administration proposed it to Council, the estimate of the contract was $1.5-million; the proposal was 12 percent. The Administration made an error and instead of saying 12 percent for Council approval, which Council would have approved at the time, they simply put the dollar figure in there. Now, because that was all Council approved, it appeared to him that both the contractor and the City went through, performed the contract with the understanding it was going to be 12 percent; that was their understanding and the Cityís understanding; that was the communication back and forth. He said there was a meeting of the minds to that contract at 12 percent. He said because the City Council only approved the dollar amount, the Administration had to come back to Council. He didnít think Council would find that there was any misunderstanding; he didnít think Council would find any support from the City that it promised to only pay them $190,000. It was a very simple matter to him, and he didnít think Council should be reopening that to go into all the little deals, and the project needed to be brought to an end.

Mayor Csordas stated that he concurred with Mayor Pro Tem Landry. He was not pleased with the performance of that organization; the major issue that came to him was the culvert that was a huge challenge down there to look down there and know it was crooked. For future business, they might have a challenge in being recommended to do work for the City, but he wanted to bring it to an end, so he would not support the motion.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-444 Yeas: Lorenzo, Nagy, Paul,

Capello, Gatt

Nays: Csordas, Landry

8. Consideration of list of prequalified engineering consultant firms for utility- related projects for a two-year period ending December 31, 2006.

DISCUSSION

Mayor Csordas said there was a list of about 12 contractors to be considered for the future; he recommended that Council strike one now, which took the list to 11.

Member Capello stated that he had two in his mind.

Mayor Csordas stated that the previous item on the agenda which included Giffels-Webster probably should be taken off; that was just his opinion, they would see what Council thought. He asked if Administration was looking for five or six so it didnít have to go through the process on every project.

Mr. Helwig stated that Administration sent out material about the process; City Council commented on that, and, he thought, wanted to go more in the range of five to seven, something like that. Administration had not presumed to know what Council wanted to do; they certainly concurred with the deletion that you made reference to. He stated that was a first time for what should be a very routine process where, because they introduced competition for engineering services four years ago, the City now had, albeit a small amount of time, understanding of the field of firms out there and what they could do for the City. He said having gone through an administrative process, now Administration would like Council to provide it with a working list that would help it be more efficient as it went through the projects and the firms that the City should seek not for qualifications but for firm costs for undertaking whatever it was that Council had appropriated money for.

Mr. Helwig said that the Administrationís recommendation was not to have all 12; it would like Council, just as it had done with the one firm, take note of where the City had been beyond disappointed and we really didnít want to see them again.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that the last time Council broached the subject, he thought it was Member Capello that raised the point of the smaller the list, although it meant Council didnít have to requalify somebody but it would give them the opportunity to jack the price up on the City, so the City needed a larger list so they couldnít all just collude and raise the price. He said the question was, how deep did you go into the list. He said the next item on the agenda was the same thing; he suggested would be to go seven deep to prequalify, exclude Giffels-Webster, and therefore 1-5, 7 and 8 on the list would be his motion.

CM-04-12-445 Moved by Landry, seconded by Paul; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To prequalify the following engineering consultant firms for utility-related projects for a two-year period ending December 31, 2006: Orchard Hiltz McCliment, Fishbeck Thompson Carr, Wade Trim, Anderson Eckstein & Westrick, JCK & Associates, Professional Engineering, and URS Corporation.

DISCUSSION

Member Nagy stated that she had a question regarding the process. When she was looking at the analysis from members of the Administration, with all due respect, she didnít see Mr. McCusker, she saw Mr. Clark, and with all due respect, Mr. McCusker had a little more experience within the City, so she was curious as to why he wasnít involved in the review process.

Mr. Helwig answered that it was strictly a matter of absence delegation; he was under the understanding that he had his input in the process even though his name wasnít in the meeting.

Mr. McCusker stated that Mr. Clark took them home and read them over a weekend to actually put some sort of judgment package together for the engineering department.

Member Nagy stated that her removal would be Giffels-Webster, Ayres Lewis, and Fishbeck Thompson.

Mr. Helwig asked Mr. Hayes, City Engineer, to also come forward, since this was one of the first things he had overseen since he had been here.

Member Nagy stated that she had a little problem with the Fishbeck Thompson firm. She had gotten some feedback from some other cities with regard to that firm; she asked if Mr. Hayes would really rate Fishbeck number three.

Mr. Hayes answered yes.

Mayor Csordas stated Fishbeck was rated number two.

Mr. Hayes had them rated number two under utilities, number three for roads.

Member Nagy asked if the City had a two-year contract with Ayres Lewis and asked when the contract was up.

Mr. Helwig answered that it was up in March/April.

Member Nagy stated that Ayres Lewis and Giffels-Webster were the two.

Member Capello moved to prequalify the following engineering consulting firms for the utility-related projects for the year ending December 31, 2006: Orchard Hiltz McCliment, Fishbeck Thompson Carr, Wade Trim, Anderson Eckstein & Westrick, JCK & Associates, URS Corporation.

Mayor Csordas asked about Professional Engineering.

Member Capello stated that he was going to keep six; he was going to keep the same six for both lists, instead of having two different lists to be consistent.

Member Nagy stated that there should be an odd number.

Member Capello stated Professional Engineering.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he would accept that amendment.

Member Capello asked if Council could add utility-related projects and roadway projects.

Mayor Csordas stated that Council wasnít really looking at the same lists, though, for 8 or 9.

Member Capello stated that he was suggesting to keep the same lists for both.

Mayor Csordas stated that he would like to handle them one at a time.

Member Paul stated that as a seconder of the motion, she also supported it.

Mayor Csordas read the list: Orchard Hiltz McCliment, Fishbeck Thompson Carr, Wade Trim, Anderson Eckstein & Westrick, JCK & Associates, Professional Engineering, and URS Corporation.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-445 Yeas: Nagy, Paul, Csordas,

Landry, Capello, Gatt,

Lorenzo

Nays: None

9. Consideration of list of prequalified engineering consultant firms for roadway-related projects for a two-year period ending December 31, 2006.

CM-04-12-446 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To prequalify the following engineering consultant firms for roadway-related projects for a two-year period ending December 31, 2006: Orchard Hiltz McCliment, Fishbeck Thompson Carr, Wade Trim, Anderson Eckstein & Westrick, JCK & Associates, Professional Engineering, and URS Corporation.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-446 Yeas: Paul, Csordas, Landry,

Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,

Nagy

Nays: None

10. Approval to award the construction contract for the Haggerty Regional Detention Basin project to the low bidder, Jack Anglin Civil Construction, in the amount of $544,277.50.

CM-04-12-447 Moved by Capello, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To award the construction contract for the Haggerty Regional Detention Basin project to the low bidder, Jack Anglin Civil Construction, in the amount of $544,277.50.

Mayor Csordas asked Mr. Helwig if Novi was a regional or an on-site detention city.

Mr. Helwig answered that Novi had been largely a regional detention city; he thought over time and as sites had shrunken and as City Council and the Planning Commission had become more focused on individual plans, Novi had become site-specific. He said that was the trend now, and weíre completing Ingersol and Haggerty as perhaps two of the last; he might be missing one, but he thought two of the last regionals.

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-447 Yeas: Csordas, Landry, Capello, Gatt, Lorenzo,

Nagy, Paul

Nays: None

Member Capello asked Mr. Helwig if in the next packet he could tell how much maintenance money the City had in for that basin.

Mr. Helwig answered yes.

11. Approval to award construction phase engineering services for the Haggerty Regional Detention Basin project to JCK & Associates in the amount of $68,000.00.

CM-04-12-448 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Gatt; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY; ONE ABSENT: To award construction phase engineering services for the Haggerty Regional Detention Basin project to JCK & Associates in the amount of $68,000.00.

 

 

 

Roll Call Vote on CM-04-12-448 Yeas: Landry, Capello, Gatt,

Lorenzo, Nagy, Csordas

Nays: None

Absent: Paul

CONSENT AGENDA REMOVALS FOR COUNCIL ACTION

J. Approval to seek bids for contracting out hazardous tree removal in an amount not to exceed $80,000 and an additional $10,000 for renting a stump grinder.

Member Nagy stated that the only reason she pulled that off was that the bid regarding the removal of trees and stumps; she was going to make a suggestion. She sent out bids with both, which included tree removal and stump grinding as one and then without. She asked if the City sent it out both ways or just one way.

Mr. Helwig stated they certainly could take bids both ways.

Member Nagy stated that it might save the City money in the long run.

CM-04-12-449 Moved by Nagy, seconded by Lorenzo; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To seek bids for contracting out hazardous tree removal in an amount not to exceed $80,000 and an additional $10,000 for renting a stump grinder, bids to include both tree removal and stump grinding and without stump grinding.

Voice Vote on CM-04-12-449 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

K. Approval of Reimbursement of $43,433 toTwelve Oaks Mall for reimbursement of Twelve Mile Road signage relocated as result of road improvement.

Mayor Csordas stated remember that was the entity that provided how much for the Gap Project?

Mr. Helwig answered $650,000.

Member Paul stated that the question wasnít against the company at all; it was just clarification. She asked if it was the same size sign and the same sign itself that was going back up.

Mr. Schultz answered that it was; they had stored the former sign, at least partially. It was his understanding that it was the same sign. It was the one that Member Gatt had brought up the one time asking where it was.

CM-04-12-450 Moved by Paul, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve reimbursement of $43,433 toTwelve Oaks Mall for reimbursement of Twelve Mile Road signage relocated as result of road improvement.

Voice Vote on CM-04-12-450 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

M. Approval of Claims and Accounts Ė Warrant No. 687

Member Lorenzo stated that the reason she removed that was because of the Giffels-Webster payment on there; she wanted to know if that was the payment in question this evening.

CM-04-12-451 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by Nagy; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To remove check #40932 due to the postponement of that item.

Voice Vote on CM-04-12-451 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

Member Paul stated there was one more thing on this; she thought Council was just approving that number. She said the LaSalle Bank was #40966, the City Manager meeting and lunches; she wanted clarification. Council had a budget amendment, she believed it was the first budget amendment that six out of seven members supported removing that item, and now it was here and she wanted clarification on that.

Mr. Helwig stated that they were business meeting lunches; he had very few since he had been here, but there were a couple that had been processed. He said it had nothing to do with travel or conference; they were local.

Member Paul stated that she didnít have a problem with someone going to a business lunch, but Council was really looking to keep the dollars down. She wanted clarification; was that in the budget amendment that Council denied that.

Ms. Smith-Roy answered that they did not include those, but the category wasnít over budget right now, so while the line item itself may be, the category wasnít right now.

CM-04-12-452 Moved by Paul, seconded by Capello; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve check #40966 to LaSalle Bank.

Voice Vote on CM-04-12-452 CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

MAYOR AND COUNCIL ISSUES

1. Discussion of Goal Setting Session Schedule Ė Member Gatt

Member Gatt stated that Council had a lengthy discussion at the last meeting about the goal session; he believed Council set the meeting for a Monday night. He said that subsequent to that he had the opportunity to speak with a few former City officials who warned him that to do that justice, he was new to this, Council should probably stick to the Saturday morning routine, in that it could be lengthy; he just wanted to bring that up to Council one more time to see if there was a consensus to move that from Monday night to a Saturday morning that would be agreeable to all.

Mayor Csordas stated that in his opinion Council had to consider the staffís schedule. He stated that the goal sessions were very constructive but they were all five and six hours long. He thought Member Gatt made a good point.

Member Nagy stated that one of the problems she had was the fact that Council had already set a date She said that her concern was that Administration had a budget coming up, Council had already set a date, and she would like to just go ahead with it.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that he had always liked the idea of a Saturday; there was one Saturday in January that he couldnít make it. He knew some other people had other Saturdays that they couldnít make; he didnít recall where Council was with that discussion. He asked Mr. Helwig what the last date was that he would like to accomplish that by.

Mr. Helwig answered that Administrationís request was to accomplish it in January; it was so important that his number one concern was that all seven of Council be available. He said Administration would do its best to help Council prepare for it with some homework coming in with short-term and long-term goals that Council thought about and could get up on the board quickly so that the consensus-building process could be the majority of time that Council spend its time, be it an evening or a morning. He said Administration would be there whenever Council wanted them there, but January was the request, now it was January 31st, so there would be two months; it was the overriding information they needed to build the budget to reflect Councilís objectives for the City.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if it was currently set at a Monday, January 31st.

Mr. Helwig answered yes, at 6:00 p.m.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry asked if it made a big difference to Administration if it were the following Saturday.

Mr. Helwig answered that Administration would go with whatever date; it was done every two years, and Administration wanted it to be a positive, constructive undertaking by this Council.

Mayor Pro Tem Landry stated that it wouldnít appear to him that five days would make that a big a difference; he would rather see it done on a Saturday, and if the first Saturday in February was okay with Administration, assuming everyone could be there, would be his thought.

Member Capello stated that he didnít prefer to give up Saturday, either, because that was the time the entire family was home; however, he knew that it took a good six hours, and Saturday mentally worked better. He preferred Saturday because he thought Council needed it as a group as a whole.

Member Lorenzo stated that she wouldnít be insulted if Council held a meeting on a Saturday without her, but she would not be there on a Saturday.

Member Paul stated that January 8th was the original date that was discussed, and that was one that she was not available on. She asked what other Saturdays were being looked at. Her understanding, before going into discussing that between the members, was that January 8th wouldnít work on her schedule. She wasnít necessarily opposed to Saturdays; she would much prefer not to be there on a Saturday. Council had agreed to come at 6:00 p.m. on January 31st, which she would prefer. She wanted to hear what other Saturdays in January were workable with anybody.

Mayor Csordas answered that the 8th was bad for her, the 15th was bad for Mayor Pro Tem Landry; he would be traveling on business but leaving on Sunday, so he was cool for every Saturday.

Member Paul asked if Council could do January 22nd to give the two-month timeframe that Administration needed.

Mr. Helwig stated that Saturdays did not bother Administration; it cut back the number of administrators that were asked to be there for goal setting. He said Administration would do whatever worked best for City Council.

Member Paul stated that it looked like the consensus was to go with a Saturday, so she would propose to do it January 22nd, as opposed to February 5th.

Member Nagy asked if Council could at least start a half-hour later.

Mayor Csordas stated that goal setting would be on Saturday, January 22nd, at 9:30 a.m.

2. Discussion of Drainage Concerns on Pleasant Cove (recently chip sealed) from a resident on Crown Drive Ė Member Paul

Member Paul stated that it was addressed in the Council packet on Thursday; she had a resident that e-mailed her saying that the manhole covers were approximately 2 inches higher and they were dodging them. She said they went out and measured it, being 2-1/2 inches higher; the County set those manholes and would be dropping them in the spring. She stated now that they were afforded that ahead of time, it was resolved.

3. Discussion regarding Street Acceptance Policy Ė Member Paul

Member Paul wanted clarification through Administration. She asked when they did the financial guarantee, the City had the road maintenance fund. She wanted to know how they actually accepted the streets and what the policy was when a development was complete.

Mr. Helwig stated that there was a lengthy checklist of the process that the City went through; the policy was that it had to meet City standards, that was the overarching policy. He said he didnít know what kind of detail she wanted, but Administration would chronicle the process, what initiated it, what completed it to where it came to Council for a decision. He asked if that what she was seeking.

Member Paul answered yes. She wanted to make sure that the financial guarantee bonds and the street policy bonds somehow complement each other; that the City didnít have any more roads that were de facto accepted. She thought that he had taken that on in his administration and done that well. She wanted to make sure that City policy was in place so it had checks and balances so it never occurred again. She said it was a lot of money that the City assumed and a lot of different projects; she didnít want to get future Councils or the taxpayers in a lot of trouble.

Member Capello stated that he thought that was a good point to follow up with that; he thought that Council should give Administration some directives on what period of time it even looked at beginning to accept streets. He and Mr. Pearson had been talking; Park Place would be coming to Council next year some time; so it would be a good time to address that and use that as a good example.

4. Discussion on Potential Pension Calculation Problems (December 13, 2004 (Detroit Free Press article) Ė Member Paul

Member Paul had questions when she read the article; she wanted clarification in an off-week packet. She went through a lot of the questions in the article. She said they talked about different things that happened in different cities; they were talking about employee pensions and when they could not afford to give substantial pay raises; thus, deferring the costs to future taxpayers. She said in many cases that included better health care benefits for retirees. She said that so much of that was discussed in the last few meetings that she would like to understand just a few things. She asked if the City had a 401k for holding down pension costs.

Mr. Klaver stated that the City had a 457, which was equivalent to that program. He said that had been in place for about 23 years.

Member Paul asked if that was something that the City could possibly look at for new employees or existing employees to basically compare if it would be better to have a 401k versus a 457.

Mr. Klaver stated that he suspected what she was talking about, because he read the same articles, was really probably more of a defined contribution, which frequently they were using 401kís or 457ís as a vehicle. He said it would really be more appropriate to talk about it would be to have a defined contribution in lieu of a defined benefit, which was currently what the MERS program was. He said there were a number of different vehicles for doing that. He said there had been a lot of discussion and literature; Ms. Smith-Roy and Ms. Gronlund-Fox have talked about it and could provide information.

Member Paul stated that she would like information on that subject. She said it also talked specifically about different unions that did not pay into or collect Social Security; they specifically mentioned two unions. She wanted to know if the City unions paid into Social Security; was there a certain percentage that each union did or did it vary per union.

Mr. Klaver stated that Administration could bring that information back rather than try to respond to everything off the top.

Member Paul asked if contracts allowed pension formulas that were padded with significant overtime and other extra pay to produce payouts larger than workersí final salaries.

Mr. Klaver answered that in the MERS program, particularly with the B-4 that was recently approved and he believed it was true for all of the programs, they were maximums. For example, on the B-4, he believed it was 80 percent of the final average compensation would be the maximum. That did include certain payments, including overtime and things, but there would be a maximum of final average compensation that would preclude some of the abuses that were highlighted in those articles. He said Administration would be happy to respond to that in a little more detailed fashion.

Member Paul asked if it could, by each union group. She didnít want to get into a situation where there were several cities, Taylor, St. Clair Shores and Southfield, that had to raise their property taxes to support some of the benefits. She asked if the City had any or has had any accelerated annual pensions. Member Paul stated that there had been approximately five recent employees who had left, if Council could have an idea of what had happened in their severance pay and what had been offered to them; it could be numbers, not names, that Council could understand where some of that had gone.

Member Paul had a general question that talked about MERS investments and fund assets and watched financial health. She said that there were virtually no rules on what kind of pensions public employees were given. It was just a general question that maybe Administration could tell Council what the Cityís unions had from MERS.

Member Paul wanted to clarify. Someone asked, after they read the article, if City Council Members or Mayor received a pension; she said absolutely not, that they only received $15 per meeting and the Mayor got $20 per meeting.

Member Paul asked if the City formula included holiday and sick time and vacation time.

Mayor Csordas asked if municipal employees contributed to FICA.

Mr. Helwig answered yes, under a federal table.

AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION -- None

ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to come before Council, Mayor Csordas adjourned the meeting at 10:30 p.m.

 

______________________________ _________________________

Lou Csordas, Mayor Maryanne Cornelius, City Clerk

 

______________________________

Transcribed by Sue Troutman

Date approved: January 10, 2005