City Commission Worksession Minutes 05-13-2013

View the PDF version Google Docs PDF Viewer

                                     City of Muskegon
                               City Commission Worksession
                                       May 13, 2013
                                City Commission Chambers
                                          5:30 PM


Present: Commissioners Gawron, Spataro, German, Markowski, Hood, Turnquist, and
Absent: None.

Liability Claim: 684 Harvey Street – Oakview Partners.
On March 14, 2013, a sewage backup was discovered at 684 Harvey Street. This
property is a medical office building. A blockage in the City main was determined to
cause the backup. The property is owned by the Oakview Partners and they have filed a
liability claim against the City of Muskegon for damages and costs associated with the
City main blockage. The claimants and MMRMA have agreed on a settlement of this
claim for $28,216.15. Over $13,750 of this claim is for clean-up with the balance for
building repairs. The dollar amount of this claim requires City Commission approval.

This claim will be paid from the City of Muskegon Retention Fund at MMRMA.

Motion by Commissioner Hood, supported by Commissioner German to approve
the claim in the amount of $28,216.15 as recommended by MMRMA.

                                                                       ROLL CALL VOTE:

Ayes: Hood, Spataro, German, Wierengo, Turnquist, Markowski, and Gawron.
Nays: None.

                                                                       MOTION PASSES

Muskegon/Webster Traffic Signals.
This is a request to authorize staff to remove the current traffic signals per traffic control
orders #44-8 and remove on-street parking on Muskegon Avenue between Jefferson and
Terrace Streets and install permanent stop signs on the various adjoining cross-streets.

The financial impact is the cost of removal of traffic signals, pavement markings, and
manpower to install signs, if approved.

Comments were received from the audience. Some suggested that the Commission wait
until buffers are put into place before the traffic signals are removed.
Vice Mayor Spataro recommended adding additional on-street parking, bike lanes with
solid wide lines, and elimination of turn lanes.

Commissioner Hood stated that the City should not go outside of the warrants and that
traffic has already slowed with measurements that have been taken.

Commissioners German and Wierengo indicated they would like to put the traffic
calming measures into place first and then re-visit the removal of the five traffic signals
after seeing if the measures are effective.

Motion by Vice Mayor Spataro, supported by Commissioner Wierengo to put traffic
calming measures into place by eliminating turn lanes, extend on-street parking
where possible, add bike lanes from Muskegon and Webster Avenue between 9th
Street and Spring Street, prior to traffic signals being removed at Muskegon
Avenue at 7th Street, Webster Avenue at 7th Street, Muskegon Avenue at Jefferson
Street, Muskegon Avenue at Pine Street, and Muskegon Avenue at Spring Street.

                                                                      ROLL CALL VOTE:

Ayes: Spataro, German, Wierengo, Turnquist, Gawron, and Hood.
Nays: Markowski.

                                                                      MOTION PASSES

Pere Marquette Park Restaurant Proposals.
The City received proposals for the redevelopment of the former restaurant at Pere
Marquette Park. A committee reviewed the proposals and recommends that the City
accept the proposal submitted by Harris Hospitality.

Financial Impact: Significant investment will occur and jobs will be created.

Staff recommends to waive the submittal deadline requirement and authorize staff to
negotiate an agreement with Harris Hospitality, consistent with their proposal. Further, it
is recommended to authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to enter into an agreement with
Harris Hospitality once it is satisfactory to the City Attorney and City Manager.

A committee that included a City Commissioner and a neighborhood representative
reviewed the proposals, interviewed the companies’ representatives, and make this

Fred Sharman, of Harris Brothers, gave an overview. The proposal includes a soft serve
frozen yogurt shop within 60 days or less, add a beach rental supply store, family bar and
grill, and banquet facility.

Mr. Sharman indicated he believes he will need to start over with a new building.
Commissioner Markowski inquired about the proposal for a food truck.

Mr. Sharman stated it would be a very inexpensive advertising tool that would let people
know where they are located. They would be going up and down the beach offering food
at a lower price.

This item has been placed on the May 14, 2013 City Commission Meeting for

EVIP Employee Compensation Policy.
Since the Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP) was introduced in 2011,
requirements that the City must meet to comply with the program have been changed
several times. Some of the most important EVIP issues involve employee compensation
and benefit matters. The changing EVIP requirements have created confusion and
uncertainty among employees with regard to the City’s intentions and employees’ future
retirement planning.

The EVIP program replaced the former statutory revenue sharing program. EVIP
revenues currently amount to $1,033,845 annually for the City – contingent upon the City
fully complying with EVIP requirements. Failure to comply with EVIP program
requirements would mean loss of some or all of this funding.

This item has been placed on the May 13, 2013 City Commission meeting for

Video Surveillance and Tasers.
Commissioner Turnquist inquired if the Commission may be interested in video
surveillance in the downtown area and tasers for police officers.

He indicated the downtown is completely wireless. There have been several incidences
in the news of late of the need for cameras for safety reasons.

Tasers are currently being used in Norton Shores, Roosevelt Park, North Muskegon, and
Muskegon Heights. He believes it would deter crime if City of Muskegon police officers
were equipped with tasers and the City should seek a grant for purchase.

City Manager Mazade cited some incidences when tasers have caused fatalities – they
might be the exception to the rule, but it should be considered.

Commissioner Hood would like to hear from Chief Lewis about the issue and his

Vice Mayor Spataro stated he can not make a decision until he has read a lot of research
and make sure it’s the right decision.
Mayor Gawron directed staff to study and evaluate the use of tasers and video
surveillance and make a report at a future Worksession meeting.

City Manager Candidate Profile.
The City Commission reviewed the information proposed to be placed in the brochure
advertising a City Manager.

Some concerns were given regarding the education and experience required. Mr. Mazade
will work with the consultant to relay the information from the Commission and approve
the brochure for print.

Any Other Business.
Commissioner Markowski asked why the middle lighthouse at Pere Marquette is not
being promoted for people to visit.

It was explained that the lighthouse does not belong to the City and suggested she speak
to the owners of the lighthouse.

Commissioner Turnquist asked if there were any updates regarding the sighting of the
black bear seen by Cole’s Bakery. It is swimming to North Muskegon.

Public comment was accepted.

Motion by Commissioner Hood, seconded by Commissioner Wierengo to adjourn at
8:11 p.m.

                                                                   MOTION PASSES

                                                     Ann Marie Cummings, MMC
                                                                City Clerk

Top of Page

Sign up for City of Muskegon Emails