City Commission Minutes 11-13-2007

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     CITY OF MUSKEGON
       CITY COMMISSION MEETING
                   NOVEMBER 13, 2007
    CITY COMMISSION CHAMBERS @ 5:30 P.M.
                                MINUTES

   The Regular Commission Meeting of the City of Muskegon was held at City
Hall, 933 Terrace Street, Muskegon, Michigan at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, November
13, 2007.
  Mayor Warmington opened the meeting with a prayer from Reverend
Randall Hansen from the Central United Methodist Church after which the
Commission and public recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
ROLL CALL FOR THE REGULAR COMMISSION MEETING:
   Present: Mayor Stephen Warmington, Vice Mayor Stephen Gawron,
Commissioners Chris Carter, Lawrence Spataro, Sue Wierengo, and Steve
Wisneski, City Manager Bryon Mazade, City Attorney John Schrier, and City Clerk
Ann Marie Becker.
   Absent: Commissioner Clara Shepherd (excused).
2007-94 HONORS AND AWARDS:
      A. Sprague Auto Parts Inc. PUBLIC SAFETY
Public Safety Director, Tony Kleibecker, presented an Honorary Ambassador
Award to Sprague Auto Parts for their commitment and assistance in providing
autos to the Fire Department for training purposes.
      B. Anti-litter Contest. COMMUNITY & NEIGHBORHOOD SERVICES
Community & Services Director, Wilmern Griffin, recognized the students who
submitted drawings for the Anti-litter Contest.
2007-95 CONSENT AGENDA:
      A. Approval of Minutes. CITY CLERK
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: To approve the minutes of the Regular Commission
Meeting that was held on Tuesday, October 23rd.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: None.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Approval of the minutes.
      B. Request to Receive Three Properties of the Remaining Five Properties
         That Were Not Sold During the Tax Sales for 2007. PLANNING &
         ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: The County of Muskegon held two tax sales during 2007.
After the tax sales, there were five properties left. According to the State’s new
tax laws, the City must state which of the properties they do not want to obtain,
otherwise the City will get all of them. From the list that was provided, there are
two parcels with homes on them and three vacant lots. Staff would like to
obtain the three vacant lots and allow the Muskegon County Land Bank
Authority to obtain the two homes.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: The City will have to maintain the properties and will have
the option to sell the properties in the future for home construction.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the resolution and to authorize both the
Mayor and the Clerk to sign said resolution.
COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: The Land Reutilization Committee discussed
this matter and had a consensus for approval at their regular meeting of
October 23, 2007, due to the fact there was not a quorum.
      C. Request to Submit a Bid to Purchase a Tax-Reverted Property.
         PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: The State of Michigan has sent a letter to the City as
well as all the adjacent property owners’ information to submit a bid and
purchase a property that is in their possession. The minimum bid allowed is
$36,000. A 10% deposit must be sent with the application. The deposit is
refundable. The property is located in the Medendorp Industrial Park. This
property had been a former railroad right-of-way. The property is 2.86+ acres
and could be used for future trail right-of-way and/or future development.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: To be paid out of the public improvement fund.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: Submit 10% of the bid with the application and if
accepted, to pay the difference.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the resolution and to authorize both the
Mayor and the Clerk to sign said resolution and to have the Mayor sign the bid
application to allow staff to determine the actual bid amount.
      D. Control System Annual Software Support. WATER FILTRATION
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: Renewal of the annual customer support for the
Wonderware control system software at the Water Filtration Plant.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: A one-time cost of $10,186.75.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None. This item is budgeted.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Staff recommends renewal of the annual software
customer support agreement at a cost of $10,186.75.
      E. Budgeted Equipment Replacement. PUBLIC WORKS
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: Approval to purchase two Ford F-250 trucks from Great
Lakes Ford.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: $34,654.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Approve purchase.
                                                                  PLANNING &
      F. Tool & Die Recovery Zone Status for Muskegon Tool.
         ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: To approve development agreement and resolution
establishing a Tool & Die Recovery Zone for Muskegon Tool, 1000 E. Barney Ave.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: The City will forego approximately $23,000 per year for a
total of $346,365 in taxes for the 15 year period of the zone.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the development agreement and the
resolution establishing a Tool and Die Recovery Zone.
      G. Special Events - Catamaran Racing Association Request to Hold a
         Catamaran Sailing Event, and Camp Over Night at Pere Marquette.
         LEISURE SERVICES
SUMMARY OF REQUEST:          Catamaran Racing Association of Michigan is
requesting permission to hold a Catamaran sailing event at Pere Marquette Park
August 2&3, 2008. They intend to use the City-owned lot that is currently leased
by Capt. Jacks for overnight camping on August 2.
The owners of Capt. Jacks submitted a letter indicating their support of the
event. Two organizations hosting separate events at Pere Marquette during this
time, Inside/Out volleyball and Meals on Wheels 5k run/walk race, have
expressed support for the event.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: None.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the resolution allowing for overnight
camping at Pere Marquette for this even August 2&3, 2008.
COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION: This request was recommended for approval
by the Leisure Services Board at the October 15, 2007, meeting.
      H. Telecommunications Expense Audit. FINANCE
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: The City recently solicited proposals for firms to conduct
an audit of our telecommunications (telephone, cellular and data) expenses.
Such audits are commonly done by larger organizations having complex
telecommunications structures. Typically the auditing firms are compensated on
a contingency basis, with payment based on a percentage of actual savings
realized by the City. The City received three responses to the RFP (a fourth was
received late and not opened). The RFP responses are summarized below:




After reviewing proposals and checking references, the City recommends that
Abilita be selected to provide this service. It is the best contingency based
proposal received.
FINANCIAL IMPACT:            Some staff time is involved in gathering data and
coordinating the contract. Potential budgetary savings or billing credits may
result if billing errors or overcharges are discovered.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None. If successful, the program will result in
budget savings to the City; otherwise there is no direct cost other than some
staff time.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION:        Selection      of   Abilita   to   audit   the   City’s
telecommunications expenses.
Motion by Commissioner Carter, second by Vice Mayor Gawron to approve the
Consent Agenda as read.
ROLL VOTE: Ayes:    Gawron, Spataro, Warmington, Wierengo, Wisneski, and
           Carter
            Nays: None
MOTION PASSES
2007-96 PUBLIC HEARINGS:
      A. Request for a Time Extension for the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation
                                                   PLANNING & ECONOMIC
         Exemption Certificate at 790 Terrace.
         DEVELOPMENT
SUMMARY OF REQUEST:         Promised Land Associates, 3355 Merriam Street,
Muskegon Heights, MI 49444, was issued an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation
Exemption Certificate (resolution number 2005-54(b), issued June 14, 2005) for
the property located at 790 Terrace Street, Muskegon, MI. The timeline to
complete the rehabilitation was one year, giving them until June 14, 2006 to do
so. However, a number of unforeseen problems occurred during this time,
making the applicant unable to complete the rehabilitation. The applicant is
now requesting an addition two (2) years to rehabilitate the building. The two
(2) year extension would give the applicant until November 14, 2009, to
complete the rehabilitation. Total capital investment for this project was stated
to be $1,200,000. The project was to consist of a restaurant/banquet hall that
would also feature live entertainment. This project was to result in the creation
of 40+ new jobs in the city. Because of the new jobs, and the amount of
investment, the applicant was granted a 12 year certificate.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: If an extension to the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation
Exemption Certificate is granted, the property taxes would be frozen for the
duration of the certificate.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: If the City Commission decides to grant an extension
for the Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Exemption Certificate, it is
recommended that only one (1) additional year be granted. That would give
the applicant until November 13, 2008 to rehabilitate the building.
The Public Hearing opened to hear and consider any comments from the
public. Ciggzree Morris, 311 W. Muskegon, commented.
Motion by Commissioner Carter, second by Commissioner Spataro to close the
Public Hearing and extend the certificate until August 22, 2008.
Motion by Commissioner Wisneski, second by Commissioner Wierengo to
amend the motion to have the exterior of the building renovated in 90 days from
today.
ROLL VOTE ON THE AMENDMENT:
            Ayes: Wisneski
            Nays: Spataro, Warmington, Wierengo, Carter, and Gawron
AMENDED MOTION FAILS
ROLL VOTE ON THE ORIGINAL MOTION:
            Ayes: Spataro, Wierengo, Carter, and Gawron
            Nays: Warmington and Wisneski
MOTION PASSES
2007-97 NEW BUSINESS:
                                            COMMUNITY & NEIGHBORHOOD
     A. Resolution to Sell 1122 Spring.
        SERVICES
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: To approve the resolution to sell the City owned house
at 1122 Spring to Ms. Georgia Crenshaw, of 322 Sumner, Muskegon, for the
expected appraised value of $65,000 minus the $15,000 subsidy.
The house at 1122 Spring is part of the Operation R&R initiative, also know as
“Spring Street Awakening” the structure was obtained by the City of Muskegon
through the tax reverted process. After the City obtained the house from the
State of Michigan, a total rehabilitation of the house was completed including
abatement of any lead in the house.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: The program income derived from this transaction will be
deposited in the City’s HOME funds.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the resolution and the sale of 1122
Spring to Ms. Georgia Crenshaw.
COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION:           The City Commission      and   the   Land
Reutilization Committee approved the project.
Motion by Commissioner Spataro, second by Vice Mayor Gawron to approve
the resolution and sale of 1122 Spring to Ms. Georgia Crenshaw.
ROLL VOTE: Ayes:  Spataro, Warmington, Wierengo, Wisneski, Carter, and
           Gawron
           Nays: None
MOTION PASSES
     B. Donation Program for 2007 Individual Income Tax Returns. INCOME
        TAX
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: Approval of multiple donations programs for the 2007
income tax returns. Our department’s goal is to increase the number tax
refunds donated by 20-30%. Each year we will feature two or three donation
options for the taxpayers.
Some of our top donations programs include Lakeshore Trail Improvements,
Muskegon Summer Celebration Fireworks, & the upkeep of Veteran’s Memorial
Park.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: The average amount collected each year is $2,000. Each
donated refund saves the City approximately $1 in check fees.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Approval of the recommended.
Motion by Commissioner Spataro, second by Vice Mayor Gawron to approve
the donation program for the 2007 individual income tax returns.
ROLL VOTE: Ayes:   Warmington, Wierengo, Wisneski, Carter, Gawron, and
           Spataro
               Nays: None
MOTION PASSES
       C. Approval to Purchase New Utility Billing System. TREASURER
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: Approval to purchase the Equalizer Utility Billing System
from BS&A Software. This request is the result of an investigation by City staff of
possible utility billing software solutions that will improve productivity and
operational efficiency.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: Total cost of $36,000.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: The 4th Quarter Budget Reforecast to include an
adjustment for this purchase as a water fund capital expenditure.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION:                  Approval to purchase the Equalizer Utility Billing
System.
Motion by Vice Mayor Gawron, second by Commissioner Carter to approve the
purchase of the Equalizer Utility Billing System.
ROLL VOTE: Ayes:   Wierengo,                  Wisneski,      Carter,     Gawron,        Spataro,      and
           Warmington
               Nays: None
MOTION PASSES
       D. Revocation of a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Certificate. PLANNING
          & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: Stan and Chris Cunningham are in violation of Sec.
207.781 sec. 11 subsection (4) which states:
   If the owner of the facility fails to make the annual payment of the neighborhood enterprise zone tax
   and the ad valorem property tax on the land under the general property tax act, 1893 PA 206, MCL
   211.1 to 211.157, the Commission by order shall revoke the certificate. However, if payment of
   these taxes is made before the revocation is effective, the Commission, upon application of the
   owner, shall rescind the order of revocation. If payment of these taxes and any subsequent ad
   valorem property tax due on the facility is made after revocation of the certificate, the Commission,
   upon application of the owner, shall reinstate the certificate for the remaining period of time for which
   the original certificate would have been in effect.

Stan and Chris Cunningham have failed to pay 2006 taxes for the property
located at 1223 Morgan Avenue whose parcel numbers are 24-941-096-0253-00
and 24-613-000-0751-00. Approval or denial by the City Commission is required
and must be forwarded to the State Tax Commission. Staff sent the owners a
letter with the County Treasurer’s phone number on it regarding the pay off
amount of the delinquent property taxes on September 19, 2007, giving them
until October 12, 2007, to pay the taxes. They remain unpaid.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: The property will no longer be able to take advantage of
the certificate number 96-253 which allowed taxation at 50% of the State
average for a stated number of years.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Approve revocation of the NEZ certificate and have
the Mayor and City Clerk sign the resolution and submit it to the State Tax
Commission.
Motion by Vice Mayor Gawron, second by Commissioner Carter to approve the
revocation of the Neighborhood Enterprise Zone Certificate for 1223 Morgan.
ROLL VOTE: Ayes:   Wisneski, Carter, Gawron, Spataro, Warmington, and
           Wierengo
             Nays: None
MOTION PASSES
      E. Establishment of the Downtown Development Authority District as a
                                             PLANNING & ECONOMIC
         “Redevelopment Project Area”.
         DEVELOPMENT
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: There is a new type of liquor license available for
businesses within the boundaries of the Downtown Development Authority
(DDA) District. It is similar to the former DDA liquor license. In order for the Liquor
Control Commission to approve issuance of these licenses, the buildings that
house the licensed premises must be located within an established
“Redevelopment Project Area”. The Redevelopment Project Area has the same
boundaries as the current DDA.             In order to establish this area as the
Redevelopment Project Area, the City Commission must approve the resolution.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: No immediate impact, although the granting of additional
liquor licenses downtown will increase the number of restaurants and
entertainment venues possible, thus increasing the City of Muskegon’s tax
revenues.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the resolution and authorize the Mayor
and Clerk’s signatures.
Motion by Commissioner Spataro, second by Commissioner Carter to approve
the establishment of the Downtown Development Authority District as a
“Redevelopment Project Area” and also include the DMDC property and the
Edison Landing property.
ROLL VOTE: Ayes:       Carter, Gawron, Spataro, Warmington, Wierengo, and
           Wisneski
           Nays: None
MOTION PASSES
     F. Issuance of a Downtown Development Authority District On-Premises
        Liquor License - Iordache Group, Inc. PLANNING & ECONOMIC
        DEVELOPMENT
SUMMARY OF REQUEST: The lordache Group, Inc. has applied for a Downtown
Development Authority District On-Premises Liquor License for the premises at
380 W. Western, which is located within an area established by the City
Commission as a redevelopment project area. The applicant shall be engaged
in the operation of a restaurant and an adjacent bakery at this address.
FINANCIAL IMPACT: No immediate impact, although the granting of the liquor
license to Iordache Group will add to the business and entertainment mix in
downtown Muskegon, and will add to the City of Muskegon’s tax revenues.
BUDGET ACTION REQUIRED: None.
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the resolution and authorize the Mayor
and Clerk’s signatures.
Motion by Commissioner Spataro, second by Vice Mayor Gawron to approve
the resolution and authorize the Mayor and Clerk to sign the Downtown
Development Authority District on-premises liquor license for Iordache Group,
Inc.
ROLL VOTE: Ayes:    Gawron, Spataro, Warmington, Wierengo, Wisneski, and
           Carter
           Nays: None
MOTION PASSES
ANY OTHER BUSINESS: Mayor Warmington stated that Raya Wood is the winner
of the Muskegon Recycling Contest.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: Various comments were heard from the public.
ADJOURNMENT: The City Commission Meeting adjourned at 6:52 p.m.


                                         Respectfully submitted,




                                         Ann Marie Becker, MMC
                                         City Clerk

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