Officer Peter Davis receives high honor
Posted on 05/18/2023
City Hall City Council recap of May 15 meeting

Officer of the Year Award –
Police Officer Peter Davis was presented with the Officer of the Year Award by Police Chief Alan Maciag – a special recognition given by fellow officers. The award was based on Davis’s contributions to the department in 2021, including being a team player, taking on overtime willingly, and having a positive attitude. Due to an illness, he was on medical leave for most of 2022 and returned to the department in April 2023. Proclamations were presented by Mayor Brian Turnbull, Wayne County Commissioner Terry Marecki, State Rep. Matt Koleszar and State Senator Rosemary Bayer.

Chief Maciag introduced new officer Bassem Karkaba to members of City Council.

FY 2024 Budget approved –
There were no comments during a Public Hearing on the FY 2024 budget. Council approved the budget, with a general operating millage at 13.0182 mills and the street, drainage, and sidewalk improvement millage at 1.6216 mills – both unchanged. The voted street bond millage will be set at 0.7355 mills. The budget and five-year financial plan had been reviewed at a special budget study session in April.

Easement transfer between two property owners –
A Public Hearing was held on the easement being vacated by the city and transferred from the homeowner at 768 Grace St. to Dan and Marie Enright, homeowners at 758 Grace. There are no public underground, aerial utilities or public walkways located in the easement. The Enrights have been maintaining the easement for a while: cutting the lawn, caring for the hedges and garden that runs along the lot line. The only public comment came from David Cole, 121 High St., who asked if the easement transfer would be free of charge – no cost being paid to the city. Council affirmed that was true. Council approved a resolution that allowed the easement transfer to the Enrights.

Allen Terrace boiler plan –
Allen Terrace staff received bids from three companies to replace the senior apartment building’s aging heating boilers. The Housing Commission agreed with Housing Director Jolyn Gismonde’s selection of Facility Strategies Group (FSG), of Port Mill, NC. City Council affirmed this choice and agreed to allocate $5,650 for FSG’s design prep, which will be applied towards the project design selected. The choices currently are: 1) replacing the boilers with similar boilers, 2) replacing the boilers with a similar type and integrating it with the DHW system and 3) using a geo-thermal design. The engineering review of each option will detail what each project will cost, list any available tax breaks and rebates, and, for geo-thermal, project cost-savings over time.

Assessor contract renewed –
The city’s contract with Assessment Administration Services, L.L.C. was renewed for three years to provide assessment services, from basic field work and sketches to signing the assessment roll. The contract includes a 5% CPI increase the first year and increases equal to the CPI, at a minimum of 2%, for years two and three. The contact costs $55,620 for year 1; it begins July 1 and runs through June 30, 2026.

Office chairs to be replaced –
City Council waived the bidding process and approved the purchase of 26 Steelcase office chairs from NBS based on discount pricing from Sourcewell in the amount of $28,057 They also approved a budget amendment in the amount of $3,057 from the Public Improvement Fund balance to a line item in the Municipal Building Expenses. Many of the current chairs are more than 20 years old.

Gaslight District is facing lighting challenge –
There was discussion about the Gaslight District in Pheasant Hills subdivision, north of 8 Mile. Four of the 52 poles are broken. There are also 12 gas-lit wall sconces. The current arrangement with the Home Owner Association (HOA) is that the city is paying for maintenance and the gas used in the lights. The city has a contract with Consumers Power for $25,000 annually to clean and service the lights. The utility has given the city notice that it is ending the residential gas-light component of its service. Although there is no set timeline, the utility has cut back on its end of the contract.

DPW Director Mike Domine presented three options for council to consider: 1) add an external meter to every pole and sconce location; 2) Use an alternative energy source, such as solar or electric or 3) Keep the gas-lit wall sconces but replace the gas-lit pole lights with electric lights. In all options, there are associated costs that the City and HOA will need to discuss. Domine said the city may be able to provide a low-interest loan to the HOA to convert the lights. DTE Energy said it will maintain the electric light poles as long as the electricity cost is covered.

The initial agreement is that the HOA paid for the poles and installation of the gas lights through a special assessment paid back over 10 years to the city. No action was expected at this meeting, as council members were simply made aware of the situation. The next step is for the DPW and some council members to meet with the entire HOA membership to discuss the options and find a solution.

Water tower to be painted –
Council approved a contract with Seven Brothers of Shelby Twp. in the amount of $344,800 with a 5% contingency for total of $362,040 to paint the city’s elevated water storage tank (450,000-gallons) and make minor repairs, and to Dixon Engineering for $39,100 for project oversight. The tank was last painted in 2006 and will be sandblasted for painting on the clean exterior surface. The City of Northville logo (new since 2022) will be applied on the east and west sides. Council also approved a FY24 budget amendment in the amount of $401,140 in the Water & Sewer Fund since this project was budgeted for 2023.

New contract for AT&T cell tower lease approved –
City Council accepted the changes negotiated with MD7, an agent of AT&T, for a lease amendment and site lease agreement to maintain a cell phone tower at the water tower facility, 600 W. Baseline. The contract will provide the city with a 14% increase in rent for the first year (from the current $41,052 to $47,216) along with a 3.5% annual increase thereafter for a five-year contract length. Monies are deposited in the city’s General Fund. The lease may be renewed for six additional terms of five years each upon tenant’s written notice. AT&T has leased a cell phone tower site from the city for 20 years and the current contract was set to expire in 2023.

Downtown street bollards –
City Council approved a proposal for OHM professional services to develop a concept plan for bollards in Downtown Northville, with contract documents and bidding assistance for the selection and purchase of bollards, and construction engineering plan during the installation at a not-to-exceed amount of $52,500. Funding for this proposal will be split between the city and DDA.

Over the years, the city has used several different types of road barricades including street barrels, water barricades and vehicles. In April 2023, City staff and OHM took a site walk of both Center and Main Streets. At the meeting, it was determined that a combination of retractable bollards, seasonally removable bollards, and security planters would be used for the road closures to provide the highest possible security while maintaining emergency access at the intersection of Center and Main.

DDA proposed boundaries expansion and associated plan –
City Council approved two resolutions put forth by the DDA: 1) a resolution to consider expansion of the DDA boundaries and set a public hearing and 2) a resolution to consider an amendment to the DDA Development Plan and TIF Plan in connection with the expansion of the DDA boundaries and set a public hearing. These requests had been approved by council in a motion of support at the May 1 meeting, but DDA’s legal counsel advised that resolutions were needed in this case. The Public Hearing is set for June 19 at 7 p.m.

Citizens comments
David Cole, 121 High St., said he would like the city to talk with the developer of the new building at Dunlap and Center to move the temporary fencing closer to the building and away from the sidewalk on the south side of the building, east of Center. He noted that with warmer weather, there are more people downtown who could benefit from better access.

City Manager communication
George Lahanas said plans are progressing for the Coffee With Council meetings, which will be a pilot program held once a month at two different times and four different Northville coffee shops. Tentatively, meetings are scheduled for Thursday, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., on June 15 and Aug. 17; and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., on July 15 and Sept. 16. Details will be posted on social media, the city website and in City News. Two rotating city council members will be present at each event, along with the city manager.

Council communications

Mayor Brian Turnbull
said there will be a Memorial Day parade, co-hosted by the VFW and American Legion though the Chamber of Commerce. He mentioned the annual Flower Sale, sponsored by the Chamber, will be the weekend of May 27.

Mayor Pro Tem Barbara Moroski-Browne
noted there were several important measures on the consent agenda that she wanted to point out, including the Drinking Water State Revolving (DWSR) Fund Project Plan, and the EPA grant of $95,000 that will help Mill Race Village mitigate flooding as part of the “Greening of Mill Race Village” project. She also noted the upcoming meetings of the Planning Commission, the Historic District Council and Parks and Recreation.

Council Member John Carter
said he is excited about participating in the coffee chats with citizens. He said there is a Beck Road task force meeting on May 18 and the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority meets on May 24.

Council Member Andrew Krenz
said he went to the nation’s capital as a chaperone for Hillside Elementary School 8th graders and was proud of them. He recounted some of the treasured memories of the trip.

Council Member Marilyn Price
asked about the process for signing up for Coffee with Council. (It will be scheduled through the city manager’s office.) She said it will be a good citizen engagement event.

View the meeting video here.