Citizens District Council Minutes 02-05-2013

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Citizen’s District Council Meeting
City of Muskegon CDBG
Conference Room 203
Muskegon, Michigan
Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The meeting was called to order by the Chairman, Tom Pastoor at 5:45 p.m.

Roll call was taken by Laura Hichue
Present:             Chris Carter, Addie Sanders-Randall, Tom Pastoor, Billie Quinn,
                     Lea Markowski
Absent:              Rosalind Ford, Virgie Jackson, Lori Rasmussen
Staff Present:       Oneata Bailey, Laura Hichue
Guest:               Dr. Zawdie Abiade

Chris Carter made a motion to approve the minutes from the November 8, 2012
meeting. Billie Quinn seconded the motion which passed unanimously.

Mr. Pastoor asked if there should be anything taken out of order since Mr. Carter had to
leave at 6:00 p.m. Oneata said the Board membership and her report on CAPER.

       CAPER 2011
Oneata explained that the CAPER 2011 reports had been submitted and approved.
Dr. Abiade asked for an explanation of CAPER. Mrs. Bailey described that it was the
report of CDBG funds that were provided to the City of Muskegon and Norton Shores
for 2011. The reports are submitted at the end of the fiscal year and approval had been
received from the HUD office.


              CDC Membership Changes

Oneata explained that according to the CDC Citizen Participation Plan, the Council is to
be made up of a citizen from each of the 4 City Wards and showed a map outlining the
wards and listed the neighborhoods in each ward. There are also three Citizen-At-
Large and two Target Area representatives. She further explained there was not a
current Targeted Area and it was brought to the City Commission’s attention last year
that the meetings were sporadic and a 9-person membership was difficult to keep.
She stated that at this time 8 members are enough for the Board to function: 4 Ward
representatives and 3 At-Large Representatives plus the Commission Representative
would make up the Council.

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Mr. Pastoor asked what the current make-up of the Board is. Oneata described the
current membership and stated that Ward 3 & possibly 4 need representatives. The
current member from Ward 4 has missed a few meetings and should be replaced.

Mr. Pastoor stated the Talent Bank Applications and the need for citizen representatives
on City Boards could be discussed at the NAM meeting the following day. Oneata
advised to take Talent Bank applications to that meeting.

Mr. Pastoor further stated he believed part of the problem with keeping membership
was that the perceived importance of the Board was diminishing and the Board was
seen as advisory.

Mr. Carter explained as a former commissioner, the CDC Board always was advisory
but the Commission put more credence into the Board’s recommendations. As times
changed and budget constraints became tighter the CDC recommendations were not
always followed.

Oneata stated if the Council agreed to 7 members, 4 Wards and 3 At -Large, with
emphasis on replacements for the Wards seats first, this recommendation would go to
the Commission for their approval of the change.

Mr. Carter moved to approve the recommendation to change the make-up of the
Citizens District Council to 1 Representative from each of the 4 Wards and 3 At-Large

Mrs. Sanders-Randall seconded the motion which passed unanimously.

              2013 Budget

Oneata explained that the 2013 budget would look very similar to the 2012, except she
is proposing to scale back the City’s amount of HOME funds. There are potentially 3
organizations (CHDO’s) that are submitting requests for funding and if funding followed
the same process as before, the City would have 2/3 of the money leaving only 1/3 left
to distribute 3 ways.
The amount is $230,000 with $23,000 admin fee only. The rest would be giving to the
CHDO’s. The 3 are Habitat for Humanity, Community Encompass and Trinity Housing.
Trinity has recently received NSP3 funds through the County for 8 projects in the
Oakview Neighborhood.

Oneata gave a brief explanation of what Trinity Housing has done in the past but they
have not requested funding from the City since 2008. They have re-organized and are
actual agents for the County with the NSP funds and their capacity is building so they
are now ready to solicit funds.

Mr. Carter asked how much the City wanted to keep.

Oneata explained the Rental Rehab is always funded, usually around $20,000, the most
was $40,000, but leave enough on the table for the CHDO’s to use. The City could use
if needed some of the HOME funds to offset NSP Program Income which will be
complete in March. The City has 3 houses to sell and once they are sold, the City has

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to use that Program Income into another property, so there is income to use in the next

Mr. Carter asked what was given in the past.

Oneata explained there was only 1 this year and it was the bare minimum of what was
able to be given, about 15% or around $40,000.

Mr. Carter stated his thought was after what was left after the City’s program needs are
met, to split it between the three and whatever they get is theirs to utilize as they need.
Some amount is better than nothing if at all. Mr. Carter had to excuse himself at 6:05

Mr. Pastoor asked what other programs the City funds besides Rental Rehab.

Oneata explained the Home-Buyer’s Program, which is either rehab or new
construction. She stated they are starting 553 Octavius and are looking for either a
property for possible new construction in June in the Campbell neighborhood or for
another house.

Mr. Pastoor clarified that by HUD guidelines, only 15% is required to be given to
CHDO’s by the City.

Oneata concurred and stated that in the past much more than that was given but this
year was the first year the City has scaled back and done that amount and only 1
CHDO applied.

Commissioner Markowski asked what are the requirements on the application for
CHDO’s to apply.

Oneata stated they need to explain to the City what they are going to be using the
money for. They need to propose a site and have a plan in mind to be ready by July 1,
2013, and keep in line with what they have been doing. A new agency needs to show
that they have been doing something like this for the last year, and what units they have
done in the past year.

Commissioner Markowski asked if the projects need to be new construction.

Oneata stated it can be new or rehab and that, for example, Community Encompass is
mainly known for working on rental units and transition housing. Habitat focuses on
new construction.

Commissioner Markowski stated she thought the focus should be on rehabbing rather
than new construction.

Oneata explained that it’s up to the CHDO on how they want to spend the money as
long as it’s affordable and safe housing up to code.

Oneata further explained that with the 2013 budget the CHDO’s would come before the
CDC if there were 3 so the Board could hear what they are proposing and ask the
agency questions about their use of the money and could make statements to them
based on what the Council members thinks should be and give them an opportunity to
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make adjustments on their application; it also gives them the chance to explain why
they do what they do.
She further explained that the CHDO applications are due Tuesday, 2/12, and once
they are received, the City can send them out to the Council members for review before
the next CDC meeting in March. The CHDO would then come before the CDC and
present their application.

Commissioner Markowski asked how the City was advertising the homes for sale.

Oneata explained that Greenridge Realty has them listed on the MLS and there are
signs in front of the homes.

Mr. Pastoor asked other than Rental Rehab, what has the City used the monies they
had for other than new construction.

Oneata explained they used it for rehab, such as 553 Octavius.

Mr. Pastoor asked if it would be better if the City would be able to do more with the
money rather than a CHDO as far as rehabbing a house.

Oneata stated she wanted to see what the CHDO applications come in with and be
open to giving them a little more to split 3-ways. The amount would be $207,000.

Commissioner Markowski asked if the applicants were local and affirmed that Oneata’s
thoughts were that if the City were to fund them to fund them adequately.

Oneata said the applicants were local and for the Council to keep an open mind when
they see the applications and that CNS did have program income to use.

Mr. Pastoor asked that nothing had to be decided at this time and the Council could wait
see what the CHDO’s requested.

Commissioner Markowski asked if Greenridge had any connection with the City’s
Facebook and it would be beneficial to get as much information out as possible and to
talk with Ann Cumming, the City Clerk.

Mr. Pastoor asked about the CDBG budget.

Oneata stated the HUD stated that the funding should be considered to be about the
same as last year. There may be some shifting of the funds for different programs but
the total amount will be around the same and CDBG monies stay with the City.

Commissioner Markowski asked about the siding program.

Oneata explained how the vinyl siding program is funded and there is now a payment
schedule so people aren’t coming in as regularly. Some are saving up in order to be
able to make the payments towards the siding.

Mr. Pastoor asked if any final decisions had been made yet.

Oneata said nothing is decided yet and they are working towards preparing the annual
plan and are going to try to keep the status quo. She further explained that when the
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CHDO applications are sent out she would send the CDBG budget also so the Council
members can see how the money is distributed and will be able to discuss at the March
meeting. She stated that with the 2012 budget, after all the required CDBG funding was
met there was a small amount left that LOVE Inc. received for their ramp program and
utility assistance program.

Oneata stated the March meeting will have a break during the meeting after the CHDO
presentations; she will plan on having them start their presentations around 6:00 p.m.
and then have the Council re-convene after a break to discuss and ask any questions of
what was presented.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at 5:30 p.m.

              DTE Program

Oneata explained the DTE Test & Tune Program was designed to assist this area by
helping many families countywide with furnace tune ups and replacements. It greatly
assisted the city’s emergency program by not having to use the city’s CDBG funds on
so many furnaces. The City was able to provide approximately 80 families with repairs
and replacement furnaces, 20 repairs and 60 replacements. Oneata explained DTE’s
requirements. It was very successful in helping many more people than the CDBG
funding would have been able to.

Commissioner Markowski asked if DTE was still offering the Energy Efficiency Program.

Oneata stated they were and there were higher income limits for that program than our
Priority Housing Program.


Oneata stated again that the applications from the CHDO’s would be sent with the
minutes and the CDBG budget. There should also be a complete report on what was
done for the DTE program including Norton Shores by the next meeting date.

The Annual Action Plan being prepared will be for the City and Norton Shores. After
the March CDC meeting, a preview of the plan for 2013 will be sent to the CDC. The
schedule would be to take the plan to the commission in April so the CDC would review
it at the end of March for discussion and comment by the April CDC meeting. A re-
scheduling date in April will have to be decided due to the school’s Spring Break is the
first week of April, the same week the CDC would normally meet. After discussion and
looking at the calendar, the April date will be decided at the March meeting.

Oneata explained that the Multi-Agency Meeting was very successful. Mr. Pastoor and
Carter were both there and everyone that was invited came.

Mr. Pastoor stated he brought up at the end of the meeting that they should meet again
because it was a very eye-opening experience to see what the different agencies were
doing. It would be beneficial to have all the information on the table to look at and see
what the large collection of agencies have to offer.

Oneata stated that DHS was the largest agency there and was informed that any
service DHS has is statewide and a program that is offered in other cities will be
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available here also. DHS also has a liaison to talk to if someone is told a service is not
available here, there is a contact to find out why.

Commissioner Markowski asked how much of DHS information is on 211.

Oneata stated 211 only has information on what has been provided to them and wasn’t
sure DHS has reported information to them. She also stated that DHS is trying to go
paperless so all information is going to be computerized.

Oneata listed the agencies that were at the meeting: MOCAP, DHS, County of
Muskegon, Muskegon Heights, Muskegon, Norton Shores, and the Lead Grant were
represented and the 2 City of Muskegon CDC members.

Mr. Pastoor asked if Oneata had received what was supposed to be sent and she
stated she had not.

Oneata did propose to send information she received about back property tax relief to
the NAM meeting the following day; a grant is being provided by the County and you
can go online and get assistance with it. She stated one person is assisting with the
program, which is Nancy Latham from MOCAAP or you can go online. She further
stated it was a one-time deal and they would provide up to $30,000 for property tax

Mr. Pastoor stated he would like to collect all the information from the meeting so
people know where they can go for different programs.

Commissioner Markowski asked if there were any other meetings planned.

Oneata stated not at this time.

Mr. Pastoor stated it basically depends on how much monies the agencies have and
where the grant sources are.


The guest that was present, Dr. Abiade, asked if the main focus of the CDC was

Mr. Pastoor explained that the City of Muskegon receives HUD money and the CDC is
basically the oversight of that.


The meeting adjourned at 6:40 p.m.

Next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 5, 2013, at 5:30 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Laura Hichue

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