CITY OF MUSKEGON
CITY COMMISSION WORKSESSION
Monday, July 13, 2020
Present: Mayor Gawron, Vice Mayor Hood, Commissioners German, Rinsema-
Sybenga, Emory, and Johnson
Absent: Commissioner Ramsey
Sewer Rate & Budget Implications – Public Works
The City Commission approved a 3% rate increase to the sewer at the June 23rd
Commission Meeting. This resulted in an approximately $350,000 shortfall in the sewer
fund for the 20-21 Budget Year. A memo was provided summarizing options to making
up the shortfall.
City Commissioners discussed options presented in the memo provided by the Public
Works Director, Leo Evans, who explained where the increase in cost is coming from as
well as some options to possibly reduce expenses, options to potentially increase
revenue, and some other alternatives.
Commissioners discussed the possibility of a 2% increase and removal of projects to
help cover the shortfall.
Mercy Health Arena Solar Installation – Public Works
Public Works Director, Leo Evans, presented information regarding preliminary
proposals from Charthouse Energy to install and operate solar arrays on the roofs of
Mercy Health Arena and the Annex.
The Preliminary proposal from Charthouse Energy that summarizes the project and the
parameters. Charthouse Energy has already successfully partnered with several other
local municipalities namely Muskegon Heights and Norton Shores on projects as well as
several private installations including Torresen’s Marina.
The Commission is supportive of the project.
West Urban Properties Agreement – City Manager
In June, the City Commission accepted a Letter of Intent from West Urban Properties
and authorized the city manager and city attorney to finalize a development agreement.
The proposed development agreement is provided and recommended for approval.
We are proposing the framework of a Pilot program that we would use to initially partner
with West Urban Properties to construct 100 units on vacant city lots. As part of the
program, either the City of West urban Properties may choose to stop home
construction prior to the completion of the 100 homes. The program is expected to be
applicable to many different builders/developers and many different housing types and
densities. As the City tries to reverse 40+ years of neighborhood disinvestment, it is
important that we acknowledge the areas that make us less attractive for development
than urban areas. Some of those items are more in our control than others. This
program focuses strictly on developer return on investment – with the goal of the city
acting as a partner to help ensure that a major investment in rental housing neither fails
to cashflow nor causes unreasonable increases in local rents. Many times, affordability
and profitability contradict one another – this Pilot program is designed to help attain
The City Commission will have the opportunity to review the proposed program and the
item will be placed on the agenda for consideration on July 28, 2020.
There was some discussion regarding the Brownfield Amendment Plan as it relates to
the West Urban Properties Pilot Program and other infill housing opportunities, including
The Worksession Meeting adjourned at 7:45 p.m.
Ann Marie Meisch, MMC – City Clerk