New action taken on Historic District report
Posted on 09/10/2020
City Hall

City Council recap of Sept. 8 meeting

City investments – Greg Prost of Robinson Capital Management presented an annual update on the City’s investment portfolio and stated the returns have been a little over 3% on an annualized basis. The firm is using a fixed income investment management strategy to comply with Michigan Public Act 20. In the 18 months they have been managing the City’s portfolio, they put 50 percent in diversified municipal bonds with the balance in treasuries and CDs, and small amounts in mortgage-backed securities and cash.

Historic District Survey Study Report – In a two-part move, the Council rescinded approval of the Local Historic District Survey Study Report made at its Aug. 17 meeting in order to permit further comment and clarify issues for technical compliance with state law. In the second action, Council referred the Local Historic District Study Report back to the Historic District Study
Committee for the sole purpose of approving the meeting minutes from June 6, 2019, and ensuring that the amendment to the report, referred to in those minutes, and a draft of the proposed revisions to the current City of Northville Historic Ordinance are included in the final report. That action follows the recommendation of City Attorney Bob Marzano who was asked by City Manager Pat Sullivan to review the process for study report adoption relevant to the state laws about Local Historic Districts. The study committee meeting will be open for public comment. In addition, another extension will be required for adoption of the survey study report.

Impact on process for boundary changes – Since the survey study report also detailed changes to the Historic District boundaries, the first reading of the ordinance held on Aug. 17 will be conducted once again – with two readings – after the survey study report is brought back to Council for final adoption.

Promotional banners coming to town – Special banners to promote “Twist,” for branding of the Social District from Sept. 9 through Oct. 31, and “Skeletons are Alive” for the entire month of October gained approval from City Council. Such approval is required for banners hung in the downtown area for more than two weeks.

Dining outdoors in winter is a new thing – The Social District can operate through March 1, Council agreed, based on strong support from restaurants that have seen an uptick in business since expanding their space outdoors. The extension is subject to monthly evaluation of the road closures by the DDA and City Council. The move is expected to help restaurants maintain a solid business volume during the fall and winter, especially if the governor’s executive orders continue to reduce the capacity of indoor dining rooms and bars to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Several restaurants plan to erect tents and add outdoor heaters. They also will need to get a different liquor license (to allow for permanent service outdoors rather than temporary).

Four-way stop at busy intersection – Council agreed with the assessment of the Traffic Improvement Association to erect a four-way stop at the intersection of Wing and Dunlap to improve traffic flow and overall safety. Previously, vehicles on Wing had to stop for traffic on Dunlap. A notice of the change will also be posted on a placard about 100 yards from each stop sign.

Parks agreement covers capital improvements - Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding that clarifies obligations of the City and Township with respect to the operation, maintenance, repair, replacement and improvements of parks through the Shared Services Agreement, and formalizes a plan requiring each municipality to pay for capital improvements on parks they own. The Fish Hatchery Park is an exception, where both the City and Township will equally share (50-50) in capital improvements costs.

Council communication – The mayor thanked everyone for practicing safety measures during the pandemic including wearing a mask. On a somber note, he reported a hit-and-run death that occurred in the township when a 20-year-old youth skateboarding in the dark on Sheldon, south of Six Mile was struck and killed by a vehicle. Both he and Council Member Barbara Moroski-Browne encouraged people to contact Township police if they know anything about the accident.

Public comments - There were no public comments outside of those pertaining to agenda items.

View video of the meeting here.