Randolph Drain receives grant for repair
Posted on 12/06/2023
City Hall City Council recap of Dec. 4, 2023

Council approved DDA boundary expansion, new TIF capture –
The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) held a second reading to amend and restate the Development and Tax Increment Plan and modify the DDA district boundaries – both were amendments to Chapter 26 of the Northville Code of Ordinances. The boundary expansion extends beyond the Downtown District of the DDA to also include the apartment building and River Park that is part of the Downs development. The Development and Tax Increment Plan will provide a source of self-financing for economic development. The legal description of the River Park questioned in the first reading was found to be correct, although the original map shown had to be changed to match that description. In addition, Council approved a resolution relating to the ordinance amendments.

Randolph Drain repairs –
Council approved a resolution to transfer the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Community Grant project from the city of Northville to the Randolph Street Intercounty Drain (RSID) Drainage Board. The federal grant of $560,000 (with a $140,000 match from the city and partners) will be used for repairs of the deteriorated drainage structures of Randolph Drain at the Hutton Street culvert near Serenity Point and the riverbank stabilization project – both in Ford Field Park. The transfer was made because Oakland County is better equipped to manage the project. The project will be overseen by the Oakland County Water Resource Commissioner’s office, which is a member of the Intercounty Drainage Board. The city’s director of Strategic Planning and Special Events, Wendy Wilmers Longpre, who has a degree in landscape architecture, will have input and oversight into the project.

Public comment:
Jim Long, Fairbrook Ct., said he would like the city to name the unnamed street in the southern portion of the Downs development Downs Ave. or something similar in memory of the Downs Race Track, which will be demolished when the development is built. (The mayor noted that private streets are named by the developer and public streets could be named by the city.)

Jeff Snyder, Yerkes, asked to delay two traffic studies that may be reported on in the coming weeks until January because people are still using habits they developed when the downtown streets were closed. (via Zoom)

Additional comments were offered.

Mary Keys, 502 W. Main, asked for future consideration for a transparent process when the city plans to use the bollards to close a street to traffic. She said doing it by Council action is one way and to put it on the city landing page (website). (via Zoom)

Closed session
Council voted to accept the recommendation made by the city attorney at the closed session and grant the city manager authority to execute all necessary related documentation.

Council communications

Mayor Brian Turnbull mentioned several holiday activities going on around town, including the Tipping Pointe theatre production, Mill Race Village trees, and Maybury State Park. He thanked everyone for doing their part to help the city, especially Council and the 27 boards and commissions.

Council Member Andrew Krenz encouraged people to stop by the Northville Post Office on Dec. 6 when City Council members and City Hall staff will be ringing the bell for donations to the Salvation Army. Tongue in check, he especially wanted people to come during his shift. He also challenged fellow Council members to wear their ugliest Christmas sweater at the meeting on Dec. 18 for a bit of fun. On a more serious note, he said he’s not in favor of getting rid of the 8 Mile crosswalk and wants to keep the bridge crossing there. He also noted that fundraising for the historic cabin on the Downs property has begun and encouraged people to spread the word on social media. Regarding the startling comments made by three people during public comments, he said he celebrates the First Amendment right to speak but they can’t misspeak on the address. Earlier in the meeting, he asked the city attorney Anthony Chubb whether those addresses stated by the three respondents in question could be withheld from the minutes.

Council Member John Carter said, “I would like to address the comments from earlier tonight. We celebrate free speech here in Northville and across the U.S. … I do not believe those were Northville citizens that spoke earlier and I will also point out that hate speech will not be supported by this council in any format. I celebrate free speech, which includes my right to call out individuals that try to tear us apart rather than bring us together as a community."

Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Moroski Browne said this is Democracy in action, noting, basically, people can say whatever they want to say. She called some of comments “horrific.” She noted that while we must allow them to say what they say … we must also speak up when that is said in our presence. She ended on a positive note, wishing people Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas.

View meeting video here.