Citizens District Council Minutes 02-02-2010

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Citizen’s District Council Meeting
City of Muskegon CDBG
Conference Room 203
Muskegon, Michigan
Tuesday, February 2, 2010


The meeting was called to order by Amy Varnado at 5:31 p.m.


Roll call was taken by Liz Parker.

Present:             Ned Carter, Muhammad Hakeem, Virgie Jackson, Thomas Pastoor,
                     Tiffany Seals, Amy Varnado, Stephen Gawron

Excused:             Patricia Montney, Addie Sanders-Randall

Staff Present:       Wilmern Griffin, Liz Parker


Ned Carter made a motion to approve the minutes from the last meeting (November 2,
2009). Virgie Jackson seconded. Motion passed unanimously.


        NSP1
The NSP grant is for $1,400,000 and is funded by HUD and administered through
MSHDA. Wil Griffin had a handout of the properties acquired under NSP, either through
tax reversion or open market sale. There are seven properties that should be
demolished in the next 30 days. They are:

1464 6th             1381 7th            370 Catherine               71 E Grand
299 E Isabella       525 Orchard         1189 Terrace

Wil’s handout also had pictures of properties that are going out for bid to be rehabbed;
he is hopeful the reconstruction can start in about 30 days. They are:

1201 Ransom          468 E Forest        1543 Hoyt     1331 Amity 1500 Leahy

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Wil mentioned the house on Leahy is solidly built. Steve Gawron mentioned family
members previously lived in that house in the 1930’s. Wil also stated the newest in
construction is Deconstruction, where you go into a building and salvage as much
useable materials as possible. Ned Carter said he works with the ReStore for Habitat
for Humanity and what was Wil going to do with the salvaged materials. Wil said he
would give them to the ReStore. Wil is hoping to do that with the NSP properties. Wil
advised the group that the house at 940 Wood is 80% rehabbed and he hopes it is
completed by March 15.

        NSP2
Wil Griffin advised the group that CNS was not awarded the NSP2 grant. This was a
$5,000,000 grant which Wil was going to use to develop two areas: one was to
redevelop White Street, which is already slated to get paved from the $267,000
Stimulus Package. Wil wanted to clean up White Street to make it a beautiful area.
The other area was to tear down Froebel School and develop a small ‘green’


        Welcome New Member Tiffany Seals
Amy Varnado introduced the new member Tiffany Seals, stating she is appreciative of
her willingness to participate in the group. Amy also advised the group that Dan
Rinsema-Sybenga has resigned from the CDC, stating a conflict of interest. Steve
Gawron said the Community Relations Committee met Monday night and a replacement
was discussed. Hopefully a new person will be approved by the City Commission at
their meeting next Tuesday.

     New EPA Regulations
Wil Griffin asked Liz Parker to speak on this topic. As of April 22, 2010, the EPA is
requiring contractors that do renovation, repair and painting to have an EPA RRP
license. If any of the work is done in homes, child-care facilities and schools built before
1978 which have children in them and the contractor would be disturbing a 6-foot
square inside lead-based paint surface (2’ X 3’) or a 20-foot square outside lead-based
paint surface (2’ X 10’), then the contractor would need this license. This can effect
construction contractors, electricians, painters, heating & A/C installers, vinyl siding
installers and possibly others. For an electrician, it is the total size of all the holes drilled
that will be counted towards the square foot ruling. If a furnace installer has to add
multiple air returns, the rule applies. If a contractor resurfaces floors such as sanding,
as an example, many times the stain and varnish have lead in them and the rule
applies. If a contractor currently has a lead abatement license, they still need this EPA
RRP license. These are just a few examples. There is a fee to take the training and a
fee to get the company certified. The EPA will be looking at permits pulled and do
random inspections; violations will have fines to the contractors. The EPA will be
advising homeowners of this new ruling by advertising the new regulation on TV. This
rule is a federal regulation and also will effect programs funded by HUD. Eventually this
EPA ruling will be taken over by individual states. CNS has already notified all their
contractors of this new regulation, stressing they need to contact a certified trainer for
further information. If the contractors do not have their EPA license they will not be
allowed to do any jobs for CNS as of April 22 until they are licensed. Amy Varnado
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asked what impact this will have on small minority contractors as she is concerned they
will not have the money to comply. Wil Griffin said he had already offered the class to
contractors, but not all could take the class when offered. Unfortunately he doesn’t
have the funding to offer another class. He said this is the tightest he’s seen with his
funds since he’s been with the City. Steve Gawron mentioned that perhaps the Tech
Center and the construction recently mentioned in the Chronicle, Her Construction,
could put something together. Tom Pastoor asked if this was going to increase the
costs for Wil’s programs. Wil thought it probably would but is hoping not by much. At
this point in time it’s too early to tell. Amy Varnado said she realized the burden on the
contractors but is glad see the concern Lead is getting. Tom mentioned that the
majority of Muskegon has homes and buildings built before 1978 so then wouldn’t
construction just stop in Muskegon. Wil informed him this is a federal regulation and it
is effective everywhere.

        2010 – 2011 CDBG/HOME Grants
Wil Griffin stated all requests are in and CNS will be putting the proposal books together
and hopes to have them out early next week. He currently doesn’t know how much
funding will be from HUD, possibly $1,000,000 for CDBG and $300,000 for HOME.

Wil mentioned he is finishing up on the $2,000,000 Lead grant. The first two years were
for Lead abatement and the final year is for clean up. Wil said if additional funding is
available he will apply for it. He said the Lead program gave beautification to the
community and was a health asset with improvement in future Lead testing scores.
Unfortunately, there is such a significant amount of Lead in the houses in Muskegon
that the money spent only made a small dent in the problem.


Wil Griffin said it was time to determine the dates for the CDC to review the grant
proposals. The CDC will get a book of all the grant proposals. Schedules are then
determined for each grant applicant to discuss their proposal before the CDC, which will
then be given a copy of the City Administration’s recommendations for allocation. The
CDC, as a group, then makes their recommendations. This information is given to the
City Commission and they make the final determination of grant allocations. The dates
for the reviews will be:

Wednesday, February 24; Monday, March 1; Tuesday, March 2; Thursday, March 11.
All meetings will be from 5:30 – 7:30pm. The final meeting, either March 2 or March 11,
will be a longer session until about 8 – 8:30pm.


Amy Varnado adjourned the meeting at 6:07 p.m.

Respectively submitted,
Liz Parker
Community and Neighborhood Services
City of Muskegon
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