Citizens District Council Minutes 02-24-2010

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Citizen’s District Council Meeting
City of Muskegon CDBG
Conference Room 203
Muskegon, Michigan
Wednesday, February 24, 2010


The meeting was called to order by Patricia Montney at 5:36 p.m.


Roll call was taken by Liz Parker.

Present:             Patricia Montney, Ned Carter, Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad,
                     Virgie Jackson, Tom Pastoor, Addie Sanders-Randall, Tiffany
                     Seals, Amy Varnado and Stephen Gawron

Staff Present:       Wilmern Griffin, Liz Parker


Ned Carder made a motion to approve the minutes from the last meeting (February 2,
2010). Addie Sanders-Randall seconded. Motion passed.


Wil Griffin advised the group the CNS Emergency Repair program is out of funds. The
budget was $176,500 and there are no more funds left. CNS is referring people to
DHS, Call 211, MOCAP and NIC. There is so much need in the community, worsened
by the current economy, for this program. Tom Pastoor wanted to know if the program
covered painting a home vs. vinyl siding. Wil said no. In the late 1990’s and early
2000, they did have a paint program. But when HUD implemented the Lead-base paint
regulations, it wasn’t cost effective. If you painted a house with HUD funds the house
had to be tested for Lead, and abated if found, which became costly. With the Vinyl
Siding program you can place the vinyl siding right over the existing exterior. Vinyl
siding improves the value of the home, is appealing and aesthetic to the community and
hopefully helps with energy conservation. Also, CNS was painting houses several
times, which was costly. The Lead Abatement increased the cost too much and took
away from others getting emergency help that CNS went to the Vinyl Siding program.
Tom thought the clapboard siding is much more attractive than vinyl siding and you

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can’t get siding in the darker colors. Tom asked where he can steer people who need
their homes painted and Wil did not know of any painting program. Wil said the new
fiscal year for CDBG/HOME will start on June 1 and he is anxious to see how much will
be allocated. Addie Sanders-Randall asked what the money went to for emergency
repairs. Wil said money went to roofs, electrical repairs and other emergency repairs
but as of December he put a hold on roofs in order to concentrate on heating issues,
which are mainly furnaces.

Wil also mentioned the amendment to the Action Plans for 2008-2009 and 2009-2010.
The Lead grant for $2,079,000 is in its third year. $658,300 was the matching part of
the grant the City had to provide, through monies and in-kind services. The first two
years were for Lead abatement and community outreach and the third year is for
miscellaneous items to close out the grant. Part of the grant included in-kind/matching
funds from the City. To meet this goal and close out the grant Wil is taking $230,000
from other programs for this. They are:

$140,000       HOME Weatherization from 2009 - 2010 Action Plan
$ 50,000       HOME Rental Rehabilitation from 2009 – 2010 Action Plan
$ 10,000       CDBG Service Delivery from 2009 – 2010 Action Plan
$ 30,000       HOME Infill/New Construction from 2008 – 2009 Action Plan
$230,000       Total

Basically the tax payers put up about $230,000 for a $2,079,000 grant. This went
before and was approved by the City Commission on February 23. A public notice will
also be put in the Muskegon Chronicle stating we are amending the Action Plans.

For the Weatherization Program Wil said he is having a problem getting an energy
auditor. He wanted to spend no more than approximately $11,000 per home and the
bid cost to test the houses was not cost effective. He wanted approximately $6,000 to
test each house.


       Introduction of new member Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad
Pat Montney introduced the newest member of the CDC, Rasheedah Gillespie-
Muhammad. Rasheedah said she hopes to be of service to the City and the citizens
and do an honest, good and successful job.

       Handouts
Before the review started, Pat Montney advised the group of the handouts: By-laws of
the CDC; the web address for the HUD CDBG/HOME Regulations; a copy of the HUD
Regulations regarding Economic Development; the CHDO Activity for 2008 and current
2009 and the worksheet for the grant funding for 2010 – 2011.

          COM - Engineering – Street Improvement - Getty Street between Apple
           and Marquette – Mohammed Al-Shatel, Director of Engineering for the
           City of Muskegon
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Mohammed Al-Shatel started his presentation with a handout of the various street
improvement projects. Pat Montney asked if there were problems with the sewer lines
on Getty and would they be part of the improvement. Mohammed said he checks with
the Sewer and Water departments to get a history of any problems and fix anything that
will need fixing so the road is only opened once for the improvement. Ned Carter asked
if they also contact the gas company. Mohammed said yes and that they usually don’t
have any problems with them having to come back through after a street improvement
has been done. He said they first start by sending a list of the projects to Verizon, the
gas company and other utilities. They were aware of the projects in October 2009. This
way these companies can do what they need to do so they are not in the way when the
street improvement begins.

Mohammed said his original request was for $65,000 for Getty Street. However, he
said he found out the City does not have the money it needs for all the projects and he
is now asking for $140,000 - $150,000 instead of the original $65,000. The list included
the projects of Laketon Avenue from Barclay to Henry; Laketon-Henry intersection and
Sherman-Henry intersection, similar to what was done with concrete at Laketon at
Barclay; Laketon Traffic Signals on Hoyt, Getty and Roberts because of accidents they
have had there; Getty Street from Apple to Marquette; and Latimore Street if federal
funds are available. All those projects are federally funded at about 80%. He wants to
do as many projects as he can to take advantage of federal funds. CDBG funds would
offset the cost of the engineering design and inspection. Without the engineering he
cannot do the street designs and without the designs he can’t take advantage of the
federal funds available. He doesn’t feel he should let federal funds go by the wayside.
He wasn’t aware of the dilemma of street funds until a meeting he attended last Friday.
The City can’t afford to pay for any local streets. Mohammed said federal funds can’t be
used to match federal funds for road construction costs so the CDBG funding would go
to engineering costs. Mohammed said if there is another stimulus package, the City is
selected as a top priority to get $759,000 of funding. It was difficult to understand the
handout because there were no titles over the columns and no descriptive explanation
of each project. Ned Carter mentioned the cost of the request went up to $140,000 -
$150,000, yet on the handout the engineering costs were $200,000. He wanted to
know where the additional money was coming from. Mohammed is hoping the State
fund would help out with $40,000 - $50,000. Pat Montney asked how much federal
money is coming in. Mohammed advised they hope for $1,600.000. Rasheedah
Gillespie-Muhammad said she would have a clearer picture of the projects with a
budget summary and description of what he’s doing and have it laid out in a way that is
easily understood. Pat Montney asked for Mohammad to provide the group with an
updated listing with descriptions and explanations for each project, including which ones
are low/mod areas.

         COM - Affirmative Action – Dwana Thompson, Affirmative Action and
          Risk Management Director for the City of Muskegon
Dwana Thompson said her duties for Affirmative Action include reviews of payroll for
road projects so prevailing wages are properly paid and in compliance. She is on the
Equal Opportunity Committee and does the EEO4 report for federal reporting. She also
works with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) so the City is compliant with those
regulations. She makes sure the pool of candidates for prevailing wage jobs is diverse,
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trying for the goal of 14% minority and 6.9% female. She also works with companies
who have received tax abatements from the City to make sure they have an Equal
Opportunity policy or Affirmative Action policy. She tries to get their goals to mirror the
City’s with regard to Affirmative Action with 14% minority and 6.9% females. She works
with these companies and helps with recruitment for a diverse pool. For contractors,
when bids become available she makes sure the minority and women-owned
contractors know of the pre-bid meetings so they can meet the potential general
contractors for City projects. She also works with CAP (Contractor’s Assistance
Program) to let a diverse group of people know about the classes, which are
approximately 6-8 weeks long, 7 hours a week. The program helps participants start
their own businesses with a vast array of information including payroll, bidding for jobs,
prevailing wage practices, etc.      Dwana is also the chair person for the Chamber of
Commerce’s Diversity Committee. Her handout listed the activities of the committee,
including creating a diverse marketing communication piece to help educate the
business community about available resources, ‘Meet & Greet” for interns and new
professionals in the area, increase participation in the Minority and Woman-owned
Business Directory, business mentorship and internship initiatives. The committee
wants publications that mirror the community they serve. Addie Sanders-Randall asked
how diversity is measured in the workplace. Dwana said she has a chart she uses and
does an actual count. If the companies don’t meet the goals, she assists them in
diversity recruitment and help with their goals as she has a lot of experience with
placement/employment. She also helps them meet Federal guidelines if they are
getting Federal funds. Tom Pastoor asked about the success of recruiting people for
the Census as it seems it is not a diverse group of employees. Steve Gawron said they
aren’t getting people to apply for the jobs and it can sometimes interfere with people
receiving unemployment benefits. Wil Griffin mentioned the City did some Census
testing here at City Hall. Tiffany Seals asked how every employer is determined to have
diversity? Dwana advised it’s for those that contact Dwana or those who get the City’s
tax abatement that are reviewed for diversity. Rasheedah Gillespie Muhammad wanted
to know how long the Chamber of Commerce has had the Diversity Committee. Dwana
said it was before she got on the committee, of which she had been involved for three
years. Dwana also mentioned the other part of the handout which is the Lakeshore
ATHENA Award Nomination Form from the ATHENA Foundation, honoring women in
business in Muskegon, Holland, Grand Haven, etc. These women are the trail blazers.
Blanche Smith of Muskegon got the last award. Tom Pastoor asked how this
nomination is publicized. Dwana advised it is in the newspaper and they also advise
Chamber members and it’s on the Chamber’s website. The ATHENA Foundation also
offers scholarships for women over 30 who are returning to school. They have to show
financial need, which aligns with the HUD guidelines.

           COM - Affirmative Action – Three Summer Internship Opportunities for
            College-enrolled Young People - Dwana Thompson, Affirmative Action
            and Risk Management Director for the City of Muskegon
Dwana Thompson said this is a much needed program and she is not sure of the
funding from the Recovery Act this year. Pat Montney asked why no other funding was
applied for. Dwana stated she missed the grant deadline for Julia Hackley. There is a
lot of effort and staff time that goes into applying for the money vs. what she receives
from them and the City Manager suggested not applying. The cost of one intern last
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year was $2,500 so the $10,000 CDBG request would cover everything. The interns
work in different departments; last year they were CNS, the Clerk’s Office and Civil
Service. The students were from Baker College and MCC. This program offers to
enhance the skills of the interns. The Department Heads determine what projects the
interns will do. Last year the CNS intern did a lot of work for the NSP grant, including
gathering streetscapes for historical purposes for the grant. After the internship, that
intern was able to get a job at Muskegon Heights. The internship program gives
students a chance they might otherwise not have had. The interns must be Muskegon
residents living at the poverty or extremely low-income level. Steve Gawron mentioned
that the City gets as much as they give as some of these interns come up with good
ideas. It’s a positive experience for the interns.

          COM - Department of Public Works (DPW) – Sr. Transit – Leigh Ann
           Archer, Administrative Supervisor for the City of Muskegon
Pat Montney said ridership is down but DPW was asking for more funds. Leigh Ann
Archer advised last year they asked for $64,000 and this year for $67,000. The
increase was for increases in wages and the cost of vehicle rentals also increased. Pat
asked why ridership was down. Leigh Ann stated the economy had a part in the
ridership decrease, along with the group served; riders die or go to nursing homes and
are no longer able to ride. Their ridership is down one ride less per day. One or two
people can really make a difference. The current cost of a ride, which was increased in
2007, is $1.50 each way. Ned Carter asked what entails personal business. Leigh Ann
said rides are for appointments, grocery stores, hair appointments and to restaurants for
lunch. Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked how the rides are scheduled and if they
can accommodate current day rides. Leigh Ann advised the people can call one day
ahead. Leigh Ann said yes, they can accommodate a senior citizen when they call for a
ride that day. They rarely say no. Tom Pastoor said there definitely is a need for this
service when you see all the taxi cabs in the City. There is a market to move people.
Rasheedah asked about other funding as she thought this program might be eligible for
MDOT. Leigh Ann said they get funding from CDBG and the City. As far as she knows
this program is not eligible for MDOT funds. The program funds cover the costs of the
drivers and rental vehicles, repairs on the vehicles, gas and insurance. Her salary is not
chargeable to the grant, just the drivers and dispatchers. Rasheedah said this is a great
service. Ned Carter asked if they only drive senior citizens within the City of Muskegon.
Leigh Ann said they also do the greater metro area, which includes Norton Shores, but
they do not go out to the mall.

         West Michigan Veterans – Food Items – David Eling, Director
Pat Montney asked Dave Eling if he had seen an increase in business. He said yes. It
is getting hit a lot harder, especially when the donors are now requesting assistance.
Veterans who use to work for Sappi and Dana are now asking for assistance since they
no longer have health insurance after 38 years of employment. They are also providing
assistance with prescriptions. The income level for prescription assistance is $43,700
for a married couple. Female veterans are also eligible for assistance. Pat Montney
asked if there were financial cuts from the State. He said no because they get some
funding from a local millage which takes care of administrative costs and a trust fund
that assists with utilities. He is seeing a decline in donations from both corporations and
individuals as the economy changes. His organization provides good food and does
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stay in contact with other agencies. He has been asked why he doesn’t join in on the
regular food trucks. He said they have limited items, fresh foods have a short shelf life
and they are not easily accessible between the long wait in lines and when the trucks
are available. It can be degrading to take what’s on the truck. The food trucks are
expensive and they are labor intensive. There should be a way so this process is user
friendly with acceptable food available on a daily basis. They provide the veterans with
a food order to last a family for a week, including meat, pasta, rice, instant potatoes and
cereals. They provide food for wholesome meals. They only provide fresh vegetables if
they are donated because of their short shelf life. They also provide personal hygiene
items such as tooth brushes and tooth paste, shampoo, etc; these are items the food
trucks don’t provide and you can’t purchase them with food stamps. Their hours of
operation are 8:30am – 4:30pm, but they do accommodate outside those hours. They
also treat the veterans with dignity. They try to make it as easy and unobtrusive as they
can. Most veterans don’t ask for help or can’t wait on a regular food truck line. Many of
these veterans have post traumatic stress syndrome. They are time bombs coming
back from war and they can’t stand in the food truck lines. While they are at his facility
to see a doctor they can also get food without any hassle to upset the veteran. Dave
said many of the veterans help each other. They also provide shelter for homeless
veterans at their facility. Pat Montney wanted to know how many were served through
the food pantry last year. Dave said he would provide that information to the group.
Ned Carter asked what the charge is for the food items. Dave said there is no charge.

          American Red Cross – Senior Transportation Service - Lois Brinks,
Lois Brinks started by saying how grateful she is for the CDBG funds she receives.
Their program provides drivers and dispatchers from the office and they also help new
clients. These are all volunteer positions. Muskegon accounts for 41% of the rides,
which are for medical appoints within Muskegon County. This is a free service to low-
income seniors. 36% of the rides are for dialysis. The dialysis rides start at 5 am and
end at about 4:30 pm. She brought one of her drivers, Jim Bishop, with her so he could
give the group an idea of what the service provides and what the drivers receive from
the riders. Jim started volunteering for this program in 1998 after working for 31 years
and retiring after downsizing. He started as a driver. It was a cold snowy morning.
First he had to clean off and start his own personal car, then drive over to the Red
Cross to clean off and start their cold car to be ready for his 5 am dialysis client. He first
asked himself why is he doing this and was ready to quit at the end of his shift. Dialysis
riders are people of habit. This woman always had her walker on the front stoop,
indicating she was ready for her ride. That particular morning she didn’t come out. Jim
went up and heard a faint voice asking for help. Apparently this rider had fallen and she
couldn’t get up. Jim got her going and when he dropped her off at dialysis she said
‘thank you for being there and for what you do.’ He’s still driving to this day. Another
dialysis rider had his time switched so both he and now his wife could get dialysis
together; however, their appointment was after 4:30 pm and this meant they couldn’t get
a ride from the Red Cross. When he dropped the man off at his appointment he just sat
in the car and asked ‘how do I get to dialysis from now on?’ Jim advised him that it was
already taken care. The man told Jim ‘I’m going to miss you guys.’ Jim said this
service is really needed by the seniors of Muskegon. He admitted getting a bit
emotional telling these stories because they mean so much to him and other drivers
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with similar experiences and this service means so much to the seniors. Lois Brinks
said they don’t go to Grand Rapids any more as it deprives too many other riders of this
service. Pat Montney asked about the increase in ridership. Lois stated they are at
6,532 units of transportation, with one unit being a one-way trip, just for the City of
Muskegon. They cover 190 Muskegon citizens which is 76 residents each month. They
have five cars and one van with a ramp. They also schedule maintenance on their
vehicles. Each referral must be low income and 60 years of age or older. The
exception is the compelling human need which is dialysis patients under 60 years of
age. They can always squeeze in a new person however calls are on a first come, first
served basis for appointments, after the standing appointments for dialysis and
chemotherapy.      They are a county service and also get funding from Muskegon
Heights, Norton Shores and Muskegon Township. They have 16 different funding
sources including MDOT, Senior Resources, Mercy Hospital and four block grants. Ned
Carter wanted to know how much they do for Muskegon Heights, Norton Shores, and
Muskegon Township and if they also handled Whitehall and Montague. Per Lois, they
have 41% for Muskegon, 18% for Muskegon Township. They get $4,000 from Norton
Shores and $2,500 from Muskegon Heights. They only have 6 riders from Whitehall.
Occasionally they get funds from the White Lake Foundation, but not lately. From their
Rider Satisfaction Survey 18% can’t get a ride at the time they requested but are offered
alternate times. This is based on 100 questionnaires. Tom Pastoor asked if they have
enough drivers. Lois said there is a need in February and March when snowbirds are
down south for the winter. They don’t have extra vehicles because they don’t have the
additional operating funds to handle more. Tom also asked if they used the City of
Muskegon for their maintenance. Lois said they did try but they need the problem fixed
ASAP, especially when there is no back-up vehicle. They would need a back-up car if
they went through the City for maintenance. The drivers are volunteers and do not get
paid. They have 100 volunteers for driving, dispatching, help with record keeping,
Medicaid billing. They also have two part-time office managers.

         Muskegon Main Street, Downtown Economic Development – Ed Garner,
          President of Muskegon Area First – administrative agency for Muskegon
          Main Street
Ed Garner started his presentation with a handout of Muskegon Main Street including
what they are, their mission statement and the various partnerships and events that
have taken place in Downtown Muskegon. He stated Muskegon Area First is the
administrative agency for Muskegon Main Street and this was their first time requesting
CDBG funding. They are the primary agency focused on downtown economic
development. Main Street has provided some promotional events such as holiday
movies, street hockey, street lighting, Taste of Muskegon, car cruises and they help
coordinate the brochures of the area. Projects to improve the downtown area included
planters on Third Street and a volunteer spring cleanup. Muskegon Main Street also
does economic development projects for downtown. They are the agency people go to
when they are interested in purchasing a lot on the old mall property. They field those
requests with developers all the way through closing. Those already completed include
Baker Culinary School, Muskegon Chamber of Commerce, the Sidock Building and
some of the condominium projects. Hegg’s Furniture participated in the Muskegon Main
Street Façade Program, as well as the Muskegon Athletic Club. They handled all that
development. The DDA area, from Coles Bakery to Terrace Street, is about a $200
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million investment in downtown over the past 6-7 years of which they handled a lot of it.
They provide a lot of the demographic information for developers. They also have an E-
newsletter to keep people interested in downtown. They also have the webcam for
downtown. They want to keep the momentum going. There are funding issues. The
Community Foundation use to provide donations, up to $50,000, through special funds
they had through MSHDA. The City of Muskegon, through the DDA, was a contributor;
but the City is now paying back bonds so they have reduced their funding. Last year
they got money from the General Funds. To make up for funding sources Muskegon
Main Street applied for CDBG and is aggressively promoting their membership
campaign to try and raise $30,000. They now have about $15,000. As more
businesses come downtown the less Muskegon Main Street will need from CDBG and
other sources. Their staff includes a full time manager and one assistant. They also
have committee members, board and many volunteers. They have four committees
based on the National Main Street model. They are a design, organization, promotion
and an economic restructuring committee.

Ned Carter asked how long Muskegon Area First has been in business. Ed replied that
Muskegon Area First has been in business for 10 years. They use to be MEGA
(Muskegon Economic Growth Alliance), which was a combined Chamber of Commerce
and an economic development agency and the County Convention and Visitor’s
Bureau, which eventually went their separate ways. They are supported through the
county. The Muskegon Chamber of Commerce also makes a donation. Funding use to
come from the Chamber, the City through the DDA budget and the Community
Foundation. Addie Sanders-Randall asked if there was anything with senior citizens in
mind. Ed said downtown is livable and there are activities within walking distance to
downtown and there is public transportation. They have found senior citizens want the
same things as younger people. There are the new condos designed with handicap
handles. The retailers say they need the traffic and people say they don’t go downtown
because there are no stores. The idea has come up to relocate the Farmer’s Market to
the lot the Community Foundation owns. It would bring people downtown either by
walking, biking or using public and private transportation. Gary Post is trying to have
about 50 mini stores within one building, the Russell Block Building, but is having
problems getting financing from the banks. They are trying to get more retailers
downtown, including a grocery store, a dry cleaners and a car-rental agency.
Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked about the membership goal. Ed said the goal
is $30,000. Previously the campaign only raised about $4,000. The membership
campaign is now approximately $200 - $1,000 for the business community of which a
business can choose their membership level. The City of Muskegon has committed
$5,000 from the General Fund. There is no money from the DDA this year. They use to
give $10,000.

Pat Montney wanted to know why they were asking for $10,000 when they were already
getting $5,000 from the City. Ed said the goal was $20,000 from the City, but they
never got that much. They are $15,000 short from their membership campaign. They
only got $6,000 - $7,000 from the Taste of Muskegon. They are also trying to get grants
from multiple sources. Pat Montney asked about the position announcement which
states duties include Whitehall. Ed stated they got a grant from Whitehall for specific
work they pay for on a contractual basis of $25,000. Pat wanted to know what portion is
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going to Whitehall. Ed said their primary work is Muskegon. The City is the heart of the
county. They are trying to share knowledge with other cities of which over 90% of the
job is in the development of the downtown old mall area of Muskegon. They try to keep
funding area specific. Tom Pastoor wanted to know about MCC. Ed advised they have
been looking at an existing building for about one month. MCC wants to be downtown
to get one program started. The question came up about the micro brewery. Ed stated
the announcement was put out too soon as financing was not in place; however,
someone else might be interested in a small brewery. Pat Montney asked if there was a
measurable benefit for the low/mod citizens of the targeted area. Ed said more shops
mean more employment such as Subway and other eateries. For senior citizens they
would like additional services and benefits at affordable prices they can walk to. Pat
wanted to know if he would be able to document the benefits for low/mod citizens. Ed
said he wasn’t sure, possibly estimate the information; he’d have to ask the businesses
if they would give out that employment information. Pat stated this is a targeted area
and this must be specific for low/mod. He said he’d have to talk to the business
community to see if they would be willing to report low/mod information. He said it
would be more difficult to account for low/mod shoppers and visitors. Ed said a vintage
antique store would open soon and the Third Street corridor is filling up with Mia &
Grace, the Mexican restaurant and Vietnamese store.

           Legal Aid of Western Michigan – Legal Services to Clients Facing
            Foreclosure – Dan Bonner, Managing Attorney of Muskegon Office
Dan Bonner started by stating there are Legal Aid programs for every county in the
country. There is a funding crisis and people are getting more and more desperate.
Dan had a handout which is information they gather from their intake form which
includes data and demographics of who, how many, ethnicity and family demographics
for people who are at or below 125% of the federal poverty level. There is civil legal aid
but no rights to appointed attorneys for tenants and foreclosures. They have
represented 29 cases in foreclosures. There are not a lot of low-income people who are
homeowners who are getting behind in their mortgages. With foreclosure, a lot is at
stake. A house is a person’s most important asset and the City’s too. A vacant,
foreclosed house means no taxes are paid and it adds to blight. The Federal
government requires foreclosing entities to provide 90 days notice prior to the
commencement of foreclosure proceedings. Dan does a lot of work with Neighborhood
Investment Corporation. Some cases end up in Federal Court. That is why they are
asking for more money for forecloses than for tenant legal services. It takes time to go
through all the paperwork for foreclosures and it ends up in circuit court or Federal
court. The salary range is higher for foreclosure attorneys as one person is expert in
that field. Dan pointed out where money comes from by referring to the handout which
shows other communities in Michigan that give CDBG funds to other Legal Aid offices.
The State Bar Journal said Michigan has the second highest mortgage foreclosure rate
in the nation. Michigan Legal Aid attorneys are on the front lines for this problem,
especially Legal Aid of Western Michigan. They are doing foreclosure work that nobody
else in the state has the expertise to do. Dan has been recognized for his work done for
Legal Aid in Muskegon by winning the nomination from the State Bar, the Michael Frank
Award, and the Bar’s highest award. He is the only attorney west of Lansing and the
only Legal Aid attorney to get this nomination. This represents the work Legal Aid does
in Michigan.
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United Way has gone down in their donations. No one at Legal Aid got a raise this
year, they now have to pay 20% for the medical insurance and the secretaries had a
20% reduction in their time so they are now alternating their work schedules. Wil Griffin
asked how successful he was in maintaining homes in foreclosures. Dan stated he
wins more than he looses. Wil also asked if the finance companies and banks are
easier to deal with in regard to Tarp money. Dan advised yes as far as the 90-day pre-
foreclosure notice which they must provide before going to the Chronicle and Legal
News. Wil asked if a homeowner owes $80,000, for example, why the bank won’t
accept $20,000 and let the homeowner stay; instead they go to foreclosure for less than
what is owed or what the homeowner can pay and lose all that money. Dan said not all
the banks are in Michigan, many in New York and California, and they don’t always
realize the house value is less than what is owed. They are also seeing some banks
not foreclosing on distressed houses because it would be more expensive for them to
do that. Also, homeowners are so angry they plug the drains, let the water run and walk
away, destroying the house, leading to the Prosecutor’s Office.

           Legal Aid of Western Michigan – Housing Related Legal Services – Dan
            Bonner, Managing Attorney of Muskegon Office
Dan Bonner said they have represented 290 tenant cases. The 2000 Census has 43%
of housing units as rental properties in the target areas of the City. They are older
houses with safety and code concerns. They handle cases from tenants who live in
substandard housing and are being evicted because they file complaints with the City’s
inspection department. Legal Aid gives the City free attorneys to maintain safety and
quality of the housing stock in the City of Muskegon. The problems the tenants
complain about violate the Housing Code of the City of Muskegon and judges do not
like that landlords are not keeping housing up to standards and safe for tenants. Legal
Aid uses the housing inspectors as free expert witnesses for violations of housing
standards. They work hand in hand. At the $3,500 grant level, the 290 tenant cases
equal $12 per case. If they get the $5,000, that would raise the amount to $20 per
case. Their funding includes funds from the Funding Filing Fees. However, there are
less lawsuits and the funding has gone done. Funding from United Way has also gone
down because industry and labor have left the state, and the unions and labor has been
a big supporter of the United Way.


Wil Griffin mentioned Muhammad Hakeem was asked to step aside from the CDC
because of a residency issue. A new member will be selected by the Community
Relations Committee.

The meeting broke at 8:36 p.m. and will continue on Monday, March 1.


The meeting was called to order by Pat Montney at 5:35 p.m., Monday, March 1, 2010.

Page 10 of 30

Roll call was taken by Liz Parker.

Present:            Patricia Montney, Ned Carter, Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad,
                    Virgie Jackson, Tom Pastoor, Addie Sanders-Randall, Tiffany
                    Seals, Amy Varnado and Stephen Gawron

Staff Present:      Wilmern Griffin, Liz Parker


Pat Montney continued the meeting with items from last week, including a handout from
Mohammed Al-Shatel in Engineering regarding the increase in funds requested and the
projects to go with those funds. Pat said she needed clarification as to what is low-mod
and what is infrastructure. Ned Carter objected to the fact that Engineering asked for
more than double the original request and no one else gets to do that. Wil Griffin said it
is possible to request more but most people do not do that. Pat Montney asked if they
could change when they do their presentation as this hasn’t happened before.
Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked if she could have a copy of a blank grant and
RFP so she could see some of the specifics of what is being required. Wil gave
everyone a copy of the public notice. Wil said some organizations have small budgets
and he tries to give everyone an opportunity to apply. Ned Carter said he only brought
it up because there are limited funds. Wil explained that public services are eligible for
up to 15% of the total CDBG entitlement and program income. Administration is
allowed a maximum of 20%. For the HOME funds, CHDO’s (Community Housing
Development Organization) are allowed a minimum of 15%. These are HUD guidelines.
Tom Pastoor felt there is a greater extension of money with matching funds with the
CHDO’s and more gets done through their efforts. Steve Gawron disagreed because
the CHDO’s can’t always spend the money they get. CNS has sure things. CHDO’s do
beneficial work but they can’t always get off the ground. Rasheedah Gillespie-
Muhammad asked for an example. Steve said NIC hasn’t always gotten off the ground
on some projects. You can’t say the City programs don’t give as much. Rasheedah
Gillespie-Muhammad stated the CHDO’s have matching funds. Tom Pastoor said
Community enCompass has $500,000 in work that is being done in his neighborhood
through MSHDA and he thinks its separate money, not our grant funds. Steve said they
got money through the Catholic Church.

Pat Montney said Muskegon Main Street is duplicating services if you look at the City’s
website, which has economic development. Muskegon Main Street said they are not a
duplicate service, but if the City is doing economic development how is it not
duplicated? Steve Gawron said the City isn’t marketing the properties for sale as a
person in Dan’s position (note: referring to Dan Rinsema-Sybenga who was the
Manager of Muskegon Main Street until recently) was to bring in owners and
businesses. The City does general promotion of downtown Muskegon and Muskegon
Main Street was specifically dedicated to work with developers and purchases vs. City
doing general listing of properties. Dan was the ‘go to’ person the City would refer to.
Page 11 of 30
Pat asked why Muskegon’s downtown development corporation isn’t marketing it
instead of the City paying for it. Per Steve, the City is not doing the marketing. Tom
Pastoor said there is a lot of vacant land downtown. Pat also brought up Muskegon
Main Street manager’s salary of $63,000 – which isn’t low/mod. At first the Community
Foundation and Muskegon Area First and the City of Muskegon were contributing. This
request is new for CDBG. Wil Griffin said this is only being proposed, it has not been
approved yet. Tom Pastoor said if this was Grand Rapids, Flint, Saginaw or Kalamazoo
this salary wouldn’t stack up against them and that this isn’t an overpaid position. Pat
asked how Muskegon Main Street fits the criteria that HUD demands. Wil Griffin said
it’s a question of whether you are viewing them as economic development or a public
service. If it’s a public service then it puts it in a different category, geared towards
downtown. If it’s economic development, then for every $10,000 they get, one low/mod
job must be created. This is what needs to be determined. Pat wanted to know if it fits
in a public service. Wil handed out an outline of what is and isn’t considered a public

          COM – Planning & Economic Development Department – Code
           Enforcement Officer – Mike Cameron, Code Coordinator for the City of
Mike Cameron gave a handout of the 2009 Environmental Inspections Program
Overview. Mike said budget cuts have also hit his department. 13,000 letters went out
last year and this was reactive vs. proactive. E-alert service is now getting compliance
from the landlords and property owners because mail wasn’t getting to them or not
getting to them quick enough. The compliance ration is now in the 65 – 70% range,
items are being cleaned and there’s no further attention from Environmental
Inspections. Normal compliance ration is in the 58 – 60% range. They are using a
solar powered field camera to catch some of the illegal dumping. Two years ago the
camera caught people in the act. For grass enforcement 4,500 letters were sent out
last year; 2,000 with orders to cut the grass on private properties. This is still a lot of
activity. It was down from the previous year of 3,600. They had to stop early due to
running out of money for that project. They missed over a month of grass enforcement.
There are mailings and return visits to try to get the grass cut quicker, but it couldn’t be
cut quickly enough. E-mailings are mainly for absentee property owners who said they
didn’t get the letters in time, but it can be used by all property owners. Addie Sanders-
Randall asked what happens if they don’t have email. Mike stated they also offer fax
service. Tom Pastoor asked if they reduced costs going to every 20 days to cut grass
instead of 14 days. Mike said yes, costs have decreased. The cost use to be $320 per
city lot. Now it’s below $200 per lot, with some as little as $15 - $20 to mow. There are
two private companies that bid for mowing and clean up. Tom Pastoor asked about
those who don’t pay. Mike said these are lienable items and most get paid, but when
the property turns over the title company usually pays this. Now they have a tiered
billing system for violators. The work order administrative fee is $80 and it goes up $10
for each additional work order per property. It has been effective. Rasheedah
Gillespie-Muhammad asked if this amount is for personnel. Mike said this is for one
inspector. There used to be four inspections handling 16,000 parcels and now it is a
struggle for two. Pat Montney asked if this was specifically for target areas. Mike said
yes. Target areas are getting more attention than before. For trash they have 14 days
Page 12 of 30
to pick it up. Work orders have been reduced from 2,220 to 1,121. Those orders are
down. Funds ran out towards the end of the year. He hopes next year to complete the

They also have leaf enforcement. You must rake leaves on properties with houses.
There were 41 work orders, down to 27. He also hopes to see people take care of
leaves and rake them. Terrace trash is another violation. Items too big for garbage
service to pick up or paint cans with paint in them are not picked up. This is effective for
keeping the streetscape image. The program has a huge impact. Once a year the
county recycles paint so it can be disposed of properly.

Something new they started was the vacant building registration program. It is not a
well liked program by the staff as over 1,400 violation notices of suspected vacant
properties went out and they have over 600 vacant registrations. Is this really worth it to
get small businesses into Muskegon? This is a good program to get businesses into
town. Vacant buildings are used for drug dealing or people are throwing trash on the
property.    Inspections does the board ups and the fire department handles the fires
that homeless people start. They are trying to focus their efforts on people who aren’t
taking care of their properties.

           COM – Planning & Economic Development Department – Facades - Mike
            Franzak, Planner II for the City of Muskegon
Mike Franzak gave a handout listing some of the approved projects for 2009 – 2010 and
some before and after pictures. He said this is a very popular plan with the City and a
great tool as an economic developer to be able to award businesses financially
revitalization their buildings. Many businesses are in old buildings and they don’t have
the money to improve the façade. This program has a 50% match up to $5,000. This
creates businesses and jobs in Muskegon and helps the businesses for a nominal fee.
One example is a business will open up in the spring. There is a tattoo parlor where the
owner was tired of the building next door being an empty and obsolete property. With
the façade program he is able to get another business off the ground with $2,500 and
generate three to four jobs. This is on Third Street near Mia and Grace.

There is a printing shop on Laketon and Roberts that will be next in line for façade funds
once they get more grant money. This program also helps local construction, which is
really hurting with this economy, by providing work. Ned Carter wanted to know if
people ask for this facade grant. Mike stated word of mouth spreads and people hear
about it or they call saying they have an idea and what can you do to help. They are
also trying to help Gary Post with his adventure at the Russell Block Market. The old
Central Fire Station is closer to a sale than in the past. It could use the $5,000 but now
they have used up the facade funds. Pat Montney asked about the historic district.
Mike explained the fire station is not in Muskegon’s historic district but it is on the
historical registry.

Muskegon Main Street offers a match for façade, but they haven’t had funding for the
last several years so now only the City offers a façade program. Rasheedah Gillespie-
Muhammad asked about signage. Mike said this program isn’t just for signage, but it

Page 13 of 30
can be a part of the façade that is only allowed as a small portion of the project usually
with a maximum of $500.

          Neighborhood Investment Corporation (NIC) – HOME – Homebuyer
           Rehab and Acquisition Rehab – Tim Burgess, Executive Director
Tim Burgess had a handout on their 2010 Housing Tools. Pat Montney asked about
income guidelines. Tim stated they are under 80% of AMI and they also follow MSHDA
guidelines. Very low income persons are a problem for his program because of their
debt to gross income ratio. The total debt plus a mortgage can be no more than 41% of
gross income, which is the same guideline used by banks. Pat asked about the number
of people to be served by their $75,000 request. Tim said they would purchase,
rehabilitate and sell the home and also offer assistance to the homebuyer with rehab
work to bring the home up to HQS, which includes windows, doors, roofing, heating,
lead, etc. Pat also asked about his narrative stating very low four and eight low
residents. Tim said that was an average of the last several houses, based on income.
This is a 1 to 2 ration of very low and low income residents they have been serving.
Feasibly 30% AMI could afford a mortgage; but 80% AMI can afford more of a house
than 30% AMI. They have a house on Jefferson of which they used HOME funds and
put a lot of money into rehabbing it. Right now the price is too high in the current
economy. His current problem is bringing a house up to acceptable standards,
investing that much money into it and will the market bear it on the appraised value.
Example, buy a house for $15,000, add $25,000 for rehab, but will the house sell for
$40,000 in this current market. This is a danger for anyone. Tom Pastoor said there
are currently incredible deals but with the negative perception of Muskegon there are no
home-owner buyers. MSHDA warns to get the buyer first and then get the home. That
will be the model for the next several years for non-profits to get a buyer first and then
find house. NIC also has homeowner classes of which they had over 200 people attend
last year, which are over 200 potential clients. Ned Carter stated people are moving
out of Michigan, and not even to another Michigan community, to get jobs, causing
more houses to be on the market. Tim said word of his programs needs to get to the
teachers, janitors and to students to get to their parents. If you build up the
neighborhood around the school, the school becomes more attractive. Pat Montney
asked how much funds have they used for the current year. Tim stated they hadn’t
used up the funds yet because: 1) At least 50% must be used as purchase and rehab a
home. The problem is finding a good house that will work. 2) The remainder must be
used to buy a home and fix it up per the City. He has two houses ready to purchase.
They also have to use insurance and taxes; $3,000 - $4,000, which they do not getting
back. Pat Montney asked about finding the right house only to find out there are
numerous liens on it. Tim said there are great houses out there but sometimes there
are too many liens or windows have problems, termite damage and the cost of lead
abatement; those houses are not feasible. The object is to find a house that is feasible
for a non-profit, which has to include maintenance, utilities, taxes and insurance; most
must be paid up front, which can be a financial drain. Tim said he prefers bank
financing but is open to alternative financing. A land contract would have a balloon in
three years and the question is where they would be financially in three years. NIC
can’t take that chance. Lease with option to buy could be another alternative. Virgie
Jackson questioned if the people had a substantial down payment. Tim advised
Page 14 of 30
substantial down payments are feasible, depending on how much it is and whether they
can still afford the mortgage and still have the percentage of debt to income ratio. He
said $850/month equals $255 maximum amount for a house payment, which includes
principle, interest, taxes and insurance; if you take out taxes and insurance that leaves
about $100 per month for principle and interest, which is a very small mortgage. NIC
does an assessment of the people to see if they have been to a bank, have they been
turned down. It is also difficult to find lenders with the current economy. NIC wants
good consumers in their homes and they don’t want to see them in their foreclosure
class a few years later. They gear people for success. Ned Carter asked about rentals.
Tim said they really don’t get into that but would consider a lease with option to

          Muskegon County Habitat for Humanity – HOME – New Home
           Construction for Families with 25% - 50% AMI – Ivor Thomas, Executive
Ivor Thomas was accompanied by Jodi Nichols, their Resource Developer. Ivor gave a
handout of their recent projects to everyone along with the Economic Impact on the City
of Muskegon for 2009. Pat Montney asked how they can build three homes for so little
money. Ivor explained they use a lot of volunteers, get good pricing on products and
the mortgage is for less than what was spent. 2010 will be their 25th year in Muskegon
County. They have a long history of success and access to affordable housing for low
and extremely low households. They have helped 98 families and have a 90% success
rate. Some homes are close to being paid off. Habitat holds and manages the
mortgages with zero percent interest. This keeps the affordable price down. They also
offer long-term services to their families. Many are 25 – 50% of AMI. For a family of
four, the average AMI is $60,000; 25% is $15,000 and 50% is $30,000. Statistically,
their housing has helped decrease dependency on community services as people are
living healthier and their children are doing better at school. People owning their own
homes have better health, education and the children also do better because they have
a stable environment. Because of this, the next generation is breaking the chain of
poverty. For environmental impact they are building ‘green’ houses, using 5-star plus
energy appliances. The last home they built in Muskegon has an average heating bill of
$40/month. They are trying to look at ways to even reduce that amount because every
single dollar is important. They are in their 15th year of participating in a Student Build
with MAISD at the career tech center. They have a 100% graduation rate. They are
being trained in today’s methods, making the students more marketable. Habitat’s
projects use volunteers who are trained on-site. They also have the $7 factor. Each
dollar spent will get turned over in the community seven times. Habitat has a total a of
$2,000,000 impact in the community. Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked about
the families selected. Ivor said the families are selected prior to the home being built
and funding is available before they start to build. Their families each have to put in 400
hours of sweat equity into the program. In 2009 the taxable income to the city was
$69,631.57. They are still looking for families. Some of their mortgages can be as little
as $408 per month, which includes taxes and insurance; this is less expensive than
renting. Ivor mentioned Bryon Mazade went through the house they built on Amity.
Their program brings a positive impact to the neighborhood and restores pride in the
community. The families do not pick the type of house but they can pick colors for
Page 15 of 30
shudders, carpet, vinyl and counters. They also have some homes with visitable
standards, which mean the home is adaptable for wheelchairs. There are no steps for
entry and the bathroom is large enough for a wheelchair. Addie Sanders-Randall asked
if the homes have basements. Ivor said yes, unless they are in a high water table area.
Tom Pastoor asked what sights are being looked at for this year. Ivor advised two on
Albert Street and one on Whitehall Road. Tom also asked if they get vacant lots for little
or no cost. Ivor said yes and sometimes the property is donated.

          healthCARE – Health Screenings for Lower-income Populations– Wilmer
           Cullen, LPN, Coordinator
Wilmer Cullen started by giving a handout of their 2009 service contacts and their 2007
– 2009 Service Outcomes. healthCARE is a non-profit, faith-based organization
(Christians for Health). They work with Hackley Community Care. They do outreach
ministry and are a traveling clinic at 20 churches to do screenings and have one to two
lay persons. They handled 540 people from Muskegon. They do home visits, clinics at
churches, public housing sights, outreach events, screen people at barber shops, etc.
Once people are screened they are referred to Hackley Community Care. They want a
healthy community. They also do referrals to Muskegon Family Care and to family
physicians, if a person has one. At the two community clinics, if you call before 8am you
can get in that same day. Their referrals are for health reasons. They also work with
the Lion’s Club. Some people don’t realize they qualify for care at the Department of
Human Services and they refer people there also for medications and extra help. They
also do referrals to the food and hygiene pantries. They distribute pamphlets at
churches. They have over 1,106 hours of lay-volunteer service each year. For many
people unemployment means no insurance. Addie Sanders-Randall asked how they
get the churches involved and Wilmer advised through lay persons. Tom Pastoor asked
if they do anything with Sacred Suds and get referrals from there. Wilmer said they do
referrals to Sacred Suds. It is a bit cramped but it might be possible to have a
screening there if they are interested. Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked how
they decide where to do a clinic. Wilmer said some are done on an annual basis and
they have 22 sites they visit monthly. If people want service all they have to do is call
and she will set up a clinic. Addie Sanders-Randall asked about diabetics. Wilmer said
many people don’t realize they have the disease and they are seeing more young
people diagnosed with it. Ned Carter asked if they were in competition with Muskegon
Community Health Project. Wilmer said no. They do hands-on screenings and make
referrals to MCHP. The focus of healthCARE is for low-income people but they will help
anyone who needs their help.


Tom Pastoor said it appeared they would need a fourth meeting and that the original
date scheduled, March 11, would not work for him. Several other people also
mentioned that date would not work for them. A tentative date was scheduled for
Tuesday, March 16.

Page 16 of 30
Pat Montney asked Steve Gawron about the City’s budget. Steve said it was critical.
What was a $26 million operating budget is down to $23 million. There have been
adjustments made for the 2009 – 2010 year but 2011 – 2012 will be difficult. How do
you cut $1.6 - $2 million from the budget? He said they had their goal setting meeting
last Friday. There was talk of eliminating departments, such as Leisure Services, either
partially or fully. They need to look at what doesn’t get disposed vs. cut police and fire.
They had budget trouble in the 1980’s and it caused havoc. They need to maintain their
fire force, but have it blended – part time and full time; but they need to address the cost
of operation. The City is looking at what is essential, which is public safety, public
works, planning and inspections. They need police and fire for response and public
services. We are one of only a few communities that are paving any roads. They need
to work with the bones and sinew of the City. Steve said if they can’t afford youth
programs, they will have to provide safe streets. Steve said if the Leisure Services
programs are eliminated, the ball fields and swimming pools don’t disappear.
Sometimes people have to step up. There is nothing set yet and the City Commission
is challenged to make a determination of essential services. The City has been lucky so
far because they have been balancing the budget and are not in as bad a shape as
other communities. Pat Montney asked about freezing salaries. Steve Gawron said
administrative staff did not get a pay increase and the City Manager has not had a pay
increase in several years. There used to be 27 – 28 department/division heads. At the
goal setting meeting there were only about 11 – 13. Twenty years ago the City staff
was at 600, now it’s down to 253. Tom Pastoor said if Leisure Services is cut and that
void is not filled, you will have to hire more police. If you take away those youth projects
and no one steps up, you will have trouble. Steve said there may be some truth to that,
but he doesn’t think it will become critical. The act of participation in the youth programs
is not as high as it would appear. They are talking $350,000 in cuts now. There is talk
of eliminating Senior Transit. They are talking of outreach with MATS and the American
Red Cross. They are looking at other options. There will be difficult decisions. Pat
Montney asked what would happen if the CDC gives money to Leisure Services and
then the City Commission cuts those services, where does that money get redirected to.
Steve said he didn’t know, possibly to the City to seed efforts to keep those programs
going in some other form. Ned Carter asked if they will have the staff recommendations
at the March 16 meeting. Wil Griffin advised them they would. He also explained the
CDC is an advisory board and the City Commission has the final say. You are the
citizen’s representation on the grass roots level and decide what you think is for the
betterment of the City. Steve Gawron told the group they were asking good questions
and are doing a good job being an advocate for the taxpayer. Questions like duplication
of service and do the numbers fit the criteria are really on point. The group is effectively
representing and presenting a professional tone.

The meeting broke at 7:50 p.m. and will continue on Tuesday, March 2.


The meeting was called to order by Pat Montney at 5:35 p.m., Tuesday, March 2, 2010.

Page 17 of 30

Roll call was taken by Liz Parker.

Present:            Patricia Montney, Ned Carter, Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad,
                    Virgie Jackson, Tom Pastoor, Amy Varnado and Stephen Gawron

Excused:             Addie Sanders-Randall, Tiffany Seals

Staff Present:       Wilmern Griffin, Liz Parker


Pat Montney said Muskegon Main Street is not a public service according to HUD
guidelines, but they are economic development. On their proposal their job retention is
for a person making $63,000, there is no mention of creation of jobs and it’s just
promoting and marketing the downtown area. Also, Ed Garner said they would have
difficulty providing low-mod statistics. For every $10,000 that is spent at least one low-
mod job must be provided. Pat wanted more clarification. Wil Griffin said he would
contact them and see what they say.

           COM - Finance - Fire Station Bond Payment Proposal – Tim Paul,
            Finance Director for the City of Muskegon
Pat Montney asked when this bond would be paid off and Tim said 2032. Tim Paul
started with a handout of the Debt Service Requirement for the Fire Station portion of
the 2006 Bonds. Tim said it was the debt schedule, which hasn’t changed for the bonds
issued in 2006. Central Dispatch is paying 18% of the bond and CDBG the balance.
Tim is hopeful there will be a refund down the road but it doesn’t look promising. In
2019 the old mall bond will be paid off and there should be money to help pay this bond
through the DDA tax increments. It is down from what was paid from Shoreline Drive. If
money is not available, the general fund would have to pay. Tom Pastoor said his
concern is that the facility has a planning/training room and now that is no longer
available for community use. Tim said groups abused the room or didn’t clean up.
Tony (note: Tony Kleibecker, Director of Public Safety for the City of Muskegon) doesn’t
have the manpower to do that. Tom said CDBG is paying for this and the public can’t
use it. Tim said he will relay Tom’s concerns to Tony. Maybe the room could be open
to certain groups. Ned Carter asked why the debt amount is different each year and not
level as a regular mortgage payment would be. Tim explained municipal bonds are
what the bond market demands are at the time of purchase. The City purposely
scheduled the payments so the larger payments would become available from the DDA
in the future. Tim said you rarely ever see flat bond payments. In 2007 there was no
principal, just interest in the first year. In 2019 the tax increments should be available.
State law requires you to pay off certain percentages within a certain number of years.
Each year has different interest rates assigned and he doesn’t think there will be a
better deal than what they have. Tom Pastoor said 2011 is the payment currently being
looked at and Tim agreed.

Page 18 of 30
           COM - Inspections – Dangerous Buildings - Demolitions and Board Ups
            – Tony Kleibecker, Director of Public Safety for the City of Muskegon
Pat Montney asked if $60,000 was enough. Tony Kleibecker said no. Realistically they
could use several hundred thousand dollars to clean it all up. The general fund budget
allows for five – seven homes. $60,000 allows for about 10 houses. With CDBG funds
and money from the general fund they could probably do about 15 structures. The
question was asked if material can be reused for board ups. Tony advised it couldn’t
because it’s so weathered or torn off and many times they have to be reboarded. It’s
not expensive board and it’s not reusable. Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked if
the boards are cut for a specific size. Tony advised its cut to the approximately size.
They have one company, Big Sky, which does the majority of the board ups for the City.
They will also come in after hours if the fire department or police officers think it needs
to be done. They come within six to eight hours. Primarily the board ups are for
residential buildings such as after a fire or people in them. They are boarded up for
safety issues and to keep people out. Commercial buildings should come down but that
is very costly. There is a store on the corner of Marquette and Wood that doesn’t look
too expensive $10,000 - $12,000 vs. 2-3 homes to demolish for the same price; but it
would have an impact on the neighborhood. Residential focus has the biggest impact to
the neighborhoods. Pat Montney wanted to know how many are boarded up that are
owned by banks. Tony advised a good many. Amy Varnado asked if the demolitions
are lienable expenses and do they try to collect. Tony advised it is lienable and they do
try to recover some of the funds spent. Sometimes they go into a consent agreement
where $5,000 is put in escrow, sometimes $10,000. If the work doesn’t get done then
that money goes towards demolishing the house. The goal is to have more rehabbed
homes, which is a good impact on the City. If they complete the rehab then the money
is returned. With the budget so tight Tony says he questions how many houses does
he tear down vs. how many staff get laid off. They are going to try compliance with the
maintenance code as they can’t tear down as many homes as they use to. Rasheedah
Gillespie-Muhammad asked about the vacant building registry, if that money could be
used. Tony explained that money goes to the general fund, but not specifically allotted
to this program. Tom Pastoor asked if other cities utilize a portion of other funds to do
this, giving the example of Wil using NSP funds. Tony explained federal money is going
to other areas that they need help with vs. how well Muskegon has been doing. You
can’t do a successful consistent program with just grant money. Pat Montney wanted to
know how many board ups are not vacant registered properties. Tony didn’t know but
board up information is shared with Planning for them to make that call. Tom Pastoor
asked if the City incurs the cost for the vacant schools of Froebel and Phillips. Tony
advised schools are handled through the school system and they secure their own
buildings. Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked who makes the decision of what
houses to board up. Tony said if they can contact the owner, realtor or landlords then
they can do their own board ups, which saves the City money. Some properties are
owned by banks in California and New York and you just can’t get in contact with them
for this.

         COM – Leisure Services – Youth Recreation Programs – Lowell Kirksey,
          Youth Recreation Supervisor for the City of Muskegon
Lowell Kirksey had a handout of the 2009 accomplishments. Pat Montney asked how
many kids he got annually. Lowell said as of February (two months) for Open Swim
Page 19 of 30
there were 1,002 vs. 2,582 for all of 2008. Pat also asked about Steele School. Lowell
advised Steele is offering a family night but it is not through Leisure Services. Lowell
said Leisure Services negotiates with the schools and pays for custodians for two hours
to open and close the schools for their use, but they are not needed the rest of the time
they are using the facility. The cost of a custodian is $30 - $40/hour at overtime so just
having them there for two hours to open and close instead of 8 hours for the entire day
is saving money. On site Lowell has facility supervisors and program leaders so staff
can handle things as they are certified in First Aid and CPR. There are four people on
staff at any given time. For Open Swim there is also a lifeguard. For basketball they
have two referees and a score keeper and time keeper plus a program leader and
supervisor to make sure things are going well. Pat Montney asked if there’s a way to
get the cost down and still provide the programs. Lowell advised cutting the custodian
hours helped as that was a large amount of money. On any Saturday there are 500
people in the building for basketball. For Open Gym and Swim there are 70 – 100 kids
that need monitoring for safety per building. They are pretty much at bare bones for
staff and they have been effective at using the staff they have. Pat also asked what the
cost is to join basketball. Lowell said 16 years ago the principals didn’t want it because
the kids were fighting. Now the coaches go through background checks and there are
strict guidelines on how the programs are run. It is $25 for kids to participate and get a
jersey; $31 if they want to include shorts. For non-City schools and kids the cost is $25
and they provide their own uniforms. Their money goes to cover the costs. Pat wanted
to know if you can get parents involved in fund raising. Lowell would prefer to go with
sponsorships to help offset costs and put sponsor names on the jerseys. Now there is
diversity with the other schools and academies because of the basketball programs.
They have to have City residents. Four to five schools districts get involved and this
gives the kids a chance to play someone else. It is no cost to us where other non-City
schools are involved. When there are away games, those schools will absorb the costs
for those games. For Timberland, 50% of their kids are City residents but they pay. At
Oakridge, North Muskegon, Montague and Fremont, there is no basketball at their
schools so they are matched up with teams. If 500 people come to watch the teams,
they utilize City restaurants and businesses. The handout included the stats for the
different programs and the meals served. When Muskegon Heights cut their recreation
department they asked if they could come to us. They didn’t come up to our standards
and requirements and we are not doing anything with their boys’ programs. The
number of teams for the boys remains about the same and the girls have increased.
They enjoy participating and being active. We want to try to challenge the kids. This is
a positive thing for them. Mrs. Obama has started an initiative to get kids active and
that is something Lowell is encouraging. The Summer Adventure Program is cut, but he
wanted the group to see how many kids were being served meals and the
neighborhoods where the kids and parks are located. Parents depend on this. The kids
come and go and come back for lunch. They are not held there unless there is a
special activity and they want the kids there to participate. The number of meals served
is for kids 18 and under and there is no cost for the meals. Rasheedah Gillespie-
Muhammad said Sheldon Park shut down. Lowell said they were shut down because of
costs and budget cuts. Where there was a park, his staff issued meals and did all the
documentation. He hopes the kids would to or Reese for meals or McCrea. There is no
program now but the food program from Heights. Hopefully groups will step forward.
It’s not the children’s fault. There is an economic dire need in Muskegon, especially
Page 20 of 30
with our unemployment rates. It’s a relief to families to have the food program because
the money they would have to use to pay for a meal can now be budgeted for
something else. This was a benefit provided for many years and now the community
has to step forward. If we can prevent one child from being incarcerated, that would
save the nation $1.7 – $2.3 million in a lifetime. This year there is a higher incident of
gang activities. There was gang activity between the Mason and Pine Street gangs. It
was a problem before and continued. Lowell says his sights are a safe haven where
kids can play in peace. If he doesn’t have his programs they will be limited where to go.
There are gangs in our parks. Lowell’s staff made sure gangs didn’t cause trouble. The
staff does a good job on mentoring. Chase Hammond was the Recreation Director in
1945 and began the Muskegon park system and programs that you know today. Lowell
started going to parks as a kid. All kids could come together, play and have fun
regardless of race. The vision statement talks about the quality of life and you must
have a well-rounded environment for our citizens to live in. Recreation provides that.
Lowell doesn’t want to see idle minds doing some of the bad things that are already

           Community enCompass – Healthy Neighborhood Project – Sarah
            Rinsema-Sybenga, Executive Director
Sarah Rinsema-Sybenga was accompanied by Charlotte Johnson, Healthy
Neighborhood Project Coordinator. Charlotte Johnson stated the goal is to identify,
mobilize and seek neighbors in the community to grow and sustain projects in the
neighborhood. Their funding comes from Bethany Church, Mosaic Way, Community
enCompass, McLaughlin Neighborhood Association and CDBG funds. They strive to
build relationships. They maintain lots and turned them into a park, garden and sitting
park. Hoyt Street now has a community park with benches. On Larch and Terrace they
have the Garden of Hope that their neighbors helped plant and harvest the crops. On
Diana and Terrace they have a Gentle Garden, a Humanistic Garden on Pine Street
and on Terrace and Isabella is a park where neighbors can convene and parents bring
their children. This is a safe place where children can come to play. The property was
four vacant lots and an eye sore to the neighborhood. They built up the lots to include a
playground, benches and picnic area. They have a summer camp at this park for kids
in grades K-6 for 10 weeks. They planted seeds and were able to show the children
where food comes from. At this park they also have festivals and a fall picnic for the
neighbors. Also the neighborhood can come to the Healthy Neighborhood Project and
ask for help with flowers and beautification of the neighborhood. They also have a
mural where the kids drew self portraits of themselves, which extends from the play
ground to Catherine Street. They are building hope in a community with a lot of poverty
in the neighborhood. They talk to neighbors about their concerns. With this land they
were able to build the park with help from the Herman Miller project and about 200
volunteers. They also have laundry facilities at Sacred Suds, They envision a
neighborhood that continues to grow and prosper. Charlotte passed out a handout
about the projects they have in the McLaughlin neighborhood. Pat Montney asked how
many block captains they have. Charlotte said four. Wil Griffin asked if the house on
218 Catherine, which was rehabbed by CNS, made a difference in the block. Charlotte
advised it has. A rehabbed house is always better than having a vacant lot.
Homeowners strengthen the community. It was beneficial to rehab the house instead of
demolishing it. It also helps build relationships with neighbors talking with each other.
Page 21 of 30
Wil also said he wanted to commend them on the park. It is beautiful. Charlotte said
she appreciated Wil sending Herman Miller their way. This park is a safe place for kids.

          Community enCompass (formerly Bethany Housing Ministries) – HOME
           - Purchase of Properties, Rehabilitation for Homeless Families – Sarah
           Rinsema-Sybenga, Executive Director
Sarah Rinsema-Sybenga started her presentation by stating this is part of the Bethany
Housing program. She had a handout of Bethany Housing, indicating the programs and
services they offer. For about 17 years they have been providing transient housing. In
1996 they got 1239 Terrace from Love INC and made it into transitional housing, which
is time-limited housing for homeless families. They now have 20 units to help homeless
families. Sarah said the face of homelessness has changed. Some are now
homeowners who have lost their jobs and their homes foreclosed on. These people are
now trying to get their lives back together. Community enCompass offers a two-year
program for transitional housing for these people. Clients meet with a case manager to
set goals, determining how the clients got into this position and how do they get out of it.
They also have mentor programs and group planning support where a group of clients
get together to discuss and share their plans and ideas. This program helps people and
they want to see a transformation in the McLaughlin neighborhood. They are a
community development agency using MSHDA, HOME, CDBG and NSP funds. They
are trying to change the landscape of the neighborhood. With money for another unit
they are partnering with MSHDA and are looking at two properties: 276 Catawba, which
was donated from the Muskegon County Land Bank and another property with funding
from MSHDA and NSP but they also need HOME funds to completely fund the project.
There are 1,300 homes in McLaughlin, which are a diversified group of black, white and
Hispanic, many at the lower end of the economic scale. Pat Montney asked with a
request of $70,000 how bad the houses are. Sarah said the house they got from the
Land Bank is OK on the outside but the interior needs a significant amount of work
including lead abatement, which is costly. The other house, which they are looking at,
needs more significant rehab both inside and out.

        Love INC – Handicap Ramps - Chris Zeedyk, Administrative Assistant
Chris Zeedyk had two handouts: one on their Project Ramp and the other on their
Ministry Information of all their programs. Pat Montney asked how many ramps are
urgently needed. Chris explained the applications are just opening up as they start the
beginning of March. They already have three of which one is in the City of Muskegon.
A person applying needs a doctor’s write up, with a maximum income of $16,000. The
doctor’s have to say there is a need. Many of their clients are recommended from DHS.
They also partner with other agencies. Their application shows income and expenses.
They do not do ramps for a temporary situation, only on a permanent basis. The work
is done by volunteers. The funds they are requesting are for materials. The architect
does the drawings for free. Chris started as a volunteer and she is now the
Administrative Assistant, working two days per week as a part-time position. Ned
Carter asked what the average cost of a ramp is. Chris advised it is approximately
$1,200. Sometimes they can go as high as $3,000, depending on the style, the slopes,
turns, railings, etc. Bush Concrete donates the cement supports. The grant they are
requesting will help three people, but they would like to do five. They keep track of the
City of Muskegon projects separately. They still have $900 left from last year’s grant,
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which will be used this spring. Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked if they get any
other funding. Chris advised they get funds from Senior Resources. Ned Carter asked
if they ask other municipalities for their CDBG funds. Chris indicated we would have to
get that information from Gail Kraft the Executive Director, who would be back next

The meeting broke at 7:13 p.m. and will continue on Tuesday, March 2.


The meeting was called to order by Pat Montney at 5:35 p.m., Tuesday, March 16,


Roll call was taken by Liz Parker.

Present:            Patricia Montney, Ned Carter, Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad,
                    Virgie Jackson, Tom Pastoor, Addie Sanders-Randall, Tiffany
                    Seals, Amy Varnado and Stephen Gawron

Staff Present:       Wilmern Griffin, Liz Parker


          Muskegon Community Health Project – Uninsured Diabetes Outreach –
           Mimi Rankin, Diabetes Coordinator & Outreach Specialist
MiMi Rankin started her presentation by stating they have spent $5,000 on medications
for Muskegon residents under their Medication Program. As of today 277 residents
have been helped with $15,548 of insulin, which is $80/vial; that will only last 2-3 weeks,
depending on the dosage. When MiMi gets a new diabetic client she first goes to the
hospital to find out what their prescription needs are and gets authorization from the
doctor for medication. Since their Pharmacy Assistance Program takes 45 – 60 days to
take effect, they supply the needed diabetic medication until that time. The reason they
don’t wait until the Pharmacy Assistance Program takes effect is that diabetics need
their medications immediately; they cannot wait the 45 – 60 days because there could
be complications and/or hospitalization without the medication. The assistance includes
insulin, blood pressure medications, glucometers and test strips. Each year a client
must reapply for the Pharmacy Assistance Program. From October to December
MCHP sees many elderly because they have reached their Medicare limit for
prescription coverage and they can’t afford their medications during that time frame.
This grant is used for medication only, no administrative fees. They do raise money for
their entire program through the Diabetes Walk at Heritage Landing. The CDBG funds
give them leverage to get funds from other sources such as the Sister Simone Fund and
Page 23 of 30
the county. Addie Sanders-Randall asked if MiMi had to be certified to dispense
medications. MiMi said no because she does not dispense the medication. They work
with Benson Drugs for supplying clients with medication, occasionally Westshore
Pharmacy. Under the Pharmacy Assistance Program they have helped a total of 808
county residents with $408,343 of medication, which is the retail value. Ned Carter
asked if they were in competition with healthCARE. MiMi said there is no duplication of
services. Muskegon County has the highest rate of diabetes in the state. Outreach is
done by healthCARE while MiMi’s program dispenses the medication needed. Tom
Pastoor questioned why they spent $20,000 - $50,000 for personnel. MiMi explained
this was for the Pharmacy Assistance Program person. She contacts doctors to find out
what medications the clients require and then works with the drug companies. Mercy
Hospital takes care of this person’s salary as they also do for the Executive Director.
Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked about the other costs within the program. MiMi
said other costs included supplies and overhead. She said there has been a movement
for hospitals to give back to the communities. Mercy Health Partners purchased
Muskegon Community Health Project and this has become their outreach program.
Addie Sanders-Randall asked if they ever get increases from other funding agencies.
MiMi said they got an extra $1,000 from the County, but usually it’s the same amount.
Pat Montney asked if there has been an increase in need. MiMi said yes because of
the economy and especially around the holidays, when she is at the hospital two to
three times a day with new clients. The holidays are especially busy for them because
sweets are so available at that time of year. People who were borderline eat the sweets
and cross over to being a full diabetic. They are also finding more younger people are
becoming diabetic. The concern now is to keep them healthy so they don’t get on
dialysis or lose a limb from the disease.

          Muskegon Main Street, Downtown Economic Development – Ed Garner,
           President of Muskegon Area First – administrative agency for Muskegon
           Main Street
Ed Garner was asked to come back to address some concerns and questions the group
had after his initial presentation on February 24. He stated this was an economic
development program. The question had previously come up about documenting one
low/mod person getting a job downtown for every $10,000 spent and would they be able
to do this. Ed said he talked with his board and they said they would be able to track
and document this. He also talked with the businesses downtown and they thought
getting one low/mod job was reasonable and they could show that person benefiting
from it.

           COM – CNS – CDBG Administration - Wilmern G. Griffin, Director of
            Community and Neighborhood Services for the City of Muskegon
Wil Griffin said no more than 20% of the CDBG funds can go to administration, which
includes the salaries of himself, Sue Sutherland his Finance Clerk and Liz Parker his
Administrative Assistant plus overall operation of the department. Rasheedah Gillespie-
Muhammad asked what overall operations included. Wil explained this would include
all office supplies, recording liens on properties, maintenance and gas for their cars and
research. He said no money for his department comes from the General Fund. He also
explained money also goes to the Academic Olympics and the summer trip for the kids
for Leisure Services to the Grand Rapids baseball game. These are a benefit for
Page 24 of 30
low/mod residents. Approximately 51% of Muskegon’s population is low/mod. Wil said
you always budget for everything you know about but you don’t always know what else
comes up. Tom Pastoor said having the ability to move money from one fund to
another is a good thing. Wil said they don’t have a cushion and were lucky to have the
Lead program. Proposed funding is very tight. It was good he could do the program;
putting $2 million into the community helped eradicate Lead in over 100 homes. The
end justified the means. Tom also asked if Wil gave any money to the Winter Sports
Day. Wil said no, they didn’t help with that. Sappi used to sponsor that program but
didn’t know what sponsorship Leisure Services had for that this year.

          COM – CNS – CDBG Emergency Repair - Wilmern G. Griffin, Director of
           Community and Neighborhood Services for the City of Muskegon
Wil Griffin said their main areas of concentration were roofs leaking to a point where it
becomes an emergency and furnaces, especially those that have been red tagged
(turned off) by the gas company or a licensed heating contractor because of problems,
not because a person didn’t pay their bill. They also have done some structural work
when it becomes a dangerous situation or a health issue to the family. They also do
plumbing and electrical. He is having a problem as to what people think is an
emergency but really isn’t for this program. A leaky faucet or a running toilet is not an
emergency. They handle approximately 60 – 80 emergency cases each year all over
the City. Tom Pastoor asked if they use minority contractors. Wil said very few. They
do have a few female-owned businesses. Holden Construction also does some work
for them. They don’t have any plumbers or electricians. There are some out there who
used to work for Sappi and are now doing residential work but have not signed up as a
contractor for his programs. The YouthBuild program might have helped because it
would have exposed youth to the building trades and possibly some might have become
contractors. The unemployment rate in Muskegon is about 21% but its must higher for
minorities and youth. We have to invest in our young people. Tom Pastoor asked if
there was any jeopardy of losing money because they do not use minorities. Wil said
Section 3 of the HUD regulations says they have to try to promote small businesses and
female-owned business. He said they need to increase the pool but many are not
qualified to do the work. Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked if there was a
compliance issue. Wil stated they have to file a report each year with HUD stating who
you used for a job, if a minority contractor and what was paid. Muskegon is
approximately 40% African American and 5 – 6% Hispanic. You also have to go by
Federal regulations that supercede state regulations. Proposal 2 is an example. Tom
Pastoor asked how Wil lets the public know when funds become available. Wil said
there is a notice in the newspaper and they also let the NAM know so they can put it in
their newsletters. Rasheedah Gillespie-Muhammad asked about the people he couldn’t
help this year. He said they try to get to them before taking on other people.

          COM – CNS – Service Delivery – Wilmern Griffin, Director of Community
           and Neighborhood Services for the City of Muskegon
Wil Griffin said this is for the administration of the Emergency Repair and Vinyl Siding
programs which includes the salary of the rehab counselor who handles these two

Page 25 of 30
          COM – CNS – Vinyl Siding Program – Wilmern Griffin, Director of
           Community and Neighborhood Services for the City of Muskegon
Wil Griffin said this program is geared towards houses that have asbestos siding or
clapboard or where the house has been painted several times in recent years and the
siding just won’t hold the paint. This programs sides approximately 20 – 25 homes per
year. They currently have two contractors doing the work. The jobs are bid in June and
the contractors base their bids on a price per square footage of each component of the
job. Amy Varnado asked what the qualifications are besides income. Wil stated this is
strictly an exterior program. If there are other issues with the house the homeowner
usually says something to the Rehab Counselor. They don’t get involved if a
homeowner is a messy homeowner unless there is an extreme situation or if a health
issue. Their investment is protected by putting a lien on the property after the siding is
done. The lien is for five years and is placed when the job is over $3,500. It is forgiven
at 20% a year for five years. If the homeowner no longer owns the home or doesn’t live
in the home anymore, the balance of the lien is due. We have found that just by doing a
new roof or siding, or windows through the Lead program, they make the outside look
very good and it helps the neighborhood look better.

          COM – CNS – HOME Administration - Wilmern G. Griffin, Director of
           Community and Neighborhood Services for the City of Muskegon
Wil Griffin said 10% of the grant can go to administration which includes Oneata
Bailey’s salary; she is the Home Coordinator and administers the HOME programs,
including Rental Rehab, working with the CHDO’s and the Weatherization program. In
the past they have had an infill program, but decided not to have it this year because of
the work they are doing with NSP. The HOME program is not out of the General Fund.
Pat Montney asked if he did any rental rehab work and Wil said yes. The City’s
mandatory rental inspections have helped Rental Rehabs along with the Lead program.

          COM – CNS – HOME Rental Rehab - Wilmern G. Griffin, Director of
           Community and Neighborhood Services for the City of Muskegon
Wil Griffin stated that whatever the property owner spends on rehabbing their rental
property, we will match that funding up to $14,999 per unit, maximum of four units.
After the rehab is done the owner agrees to rent to persons with income no higher than
the Section 8 guidelines. They must rent this way for five years. CNS verifies the
income of the tenants. This program produces quality rental properties and assists
landlords who need assistance with repairs on their buildings, including Lead
abatement. The matching funds are motivation for the landlords to improve their

          COM – CNS – HOME Sr. Weatherization - Wilmern G. Griffin, Director of
           Community and Neighborhood Services for the City of Muskegon
Wil Griffin said they would like to put approximately $10,000 into each home with such
items as insulation, furnace, water heater and maybe some windows. First the homes
have to have an energy audit. The issue he is currently having is finding an energy
audit contractor at a reasonable price. He is also looking into working with the utility
companies.       Ned Carter asked if this program was different from MOCAP’s
Weatherization program. Wil said he does not know what their program entails. Pat
Montney asked if the energy audit was necessary vs. visible inspection. Wil said yes as
Page 26 of 30
you want a quality job with testing of the furnace and where deficiencies are within the


Sue Lathrup came to talk to the group to discuss a matter regarding the Vinyl Siding
program. Her sister was approved for the Vinyl Siding program. She has an adult
depending child 40 years told. Her sister passed away before the house could get
sided and the son continues to live in the house, alone, and his income is less now
since his mother has passed. His father passed four years ago. Sue is the trustee.
The son has mental health problems and epilepsy. Sue is over there five to six days a
week, makes sure he takes his medication and takes him to the store and doctor
appointments. If something were to happen to Sue, her daughter is named to take over.
Sue said she possibly might have to become guardian. The house cannot go in the
son’s name as he is easily taken advantage of. Sue is trying to protect his assets. Wil
Griffin has advised her they cannot side the house because the house is not in the son’s
name. The cost to have a house sided is always over $3,500 so a lien would have to be
placed on the property. Wil said if the house is in the name of the trust, there is no way
to place a lien on the property as there is no homeowner and the house is not owner-
occupied. Sue would like to know what she has to do to get this approved. She said
she has the original will and trust. Wil asked her to drop off a copy at his office
tomorrow, along with a copy of the deed. They will then be reviewed by the City


Wil Griffin stated there is not a lot of funding available. Rasheedah Gillespie-
Muhammad asked if it was normal for a City budget to depend on CDBG funds. Wil
explained these are normally funded. Ned Carter asked how they would pay for streets
since the City recommendation was to give no money. Wil said he did not know. Amy
Varnado asked about the funding for Leisure Services if the City was going to eliminate
that department. Wil said he couldn’t say as he didn’t know anything. Pat Montney
brought up the fact that a tax was passed in 1993 that the tax payers are still paying that
had to fund $170,000 to Leisure Services each year. The tax stated ‘in good faith.’
They have to do it. Tim Paul had previously stated in good faith means you have to do
it. Ned Carter asked about the public service organizations and the Administration’s
recommendation of $0. He said money is scarce all over but the Administration put a
$57,480 cushion. Were they leery there may be other issues that money would go for.
Wil said didn’t know. Pat Montney asked if the funds were guaranteed. Wil said he was
told to look at last year’s entitlement. He thinks this should be close; if there is a
substantial difference then the group would have to crunch the numbers again.

Wil Griffin then left the group so they could discuss their recommendations. The group
did want the City Commission to know their reasons for differences from
Administration’s recommendations.

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For CDBG, Administration recommended no funding for the nine public service
agencies. There is a City policy stating a minimum of $25,000 must be provided to the
public service organizations collectively. The CDC recommends $3,500 for each of the
nine agencies.

For Affirmative Action, Summer Internships, Administration recommended no funding.
The CDC feels this is a project worth funding since CDBG is for low/mod-income usage
and this program falls under that category. Four low-income students would benefit
from this program.

For Leisure Services, Administration recommended funding at $70,000 and the CDC
agrees. However, the CDC wants it known that a tax was passed in the 1990’s, which
the tax payers are still paying, that said the City would give $170,000 to youth

These recommendations will still leave CDBG a cushion of $15,980.

Under the HOME requests, Administration recommended only funding $32,000 to
Habitat for Humanity. The CDC recommends funding Habitat for Humanity at the full
request of $56,650 because this is a very low cost to build three houses to benefit low-
income families.

For Neighborhood Investment Corporation Administration recommended funding
$30,000. The CDC recommends decreasing the funding to $18,350. At their
presentation Tim Burgess, Executive Director for NIC, said they were having difficulty
this year finding appropriate properties for their program.

For the CNS Senior Weatherization/Energy Conservation request, Administration
recommended funding at $120,000. The CDC recommends this be cut to $60,000
because this is a duplicated service that MOCAP also offers.

These recommendations will still leave HOME a cushion of $64,969.

Tom Pastoor had to leave the meeting just before the recommendations started.

2010 – 2011 CDBG/HOME Grant Recommendations from the CDC

Group                                           Grant Recommendation

CDBG Grants

American Red Cross                              $ 3,500
     Pat motioned, Ned seconded, motion passed unanimously
Community enCompass                            $ 3,500
    Ned motioned, Pat seconded, motion passed unanimously
healthCARE                                             $   3,500
Page 28 of 30
       Amy motioned, Pat seconded, motion passed unanimously
Legal Aid of Western Michigan - Foreclosures     $ 3,500
      Addie motioned, Ned seconded, motion passed unanimously
Legal Aid of Western Michigan - Housing          $ 3,500
     Ned motioned, Virgie seconded, motion passed unanimously
Love INC                                          $ 3,500
      Ned motioned, Virgie seconded, motion passed unanimously

Muskegon Community Health Project                $ 3,500
     Rasheedah motioned, Virgie seconded, motion passed unanimously
Muskegon Main Street                            $ 3,500
     Addie motioned, Rasheedah seconded, motion passed 4/2; Pat and Ned had
     nay votes

Western Michigan Veterans                       $ 3,500
     Rasheedah motioned, Addie seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – Affirmative Action – Affirmative Action     $ 10,000
     Pat motioned, Virgie seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – Affirmative Action – Summer Internships $ 10,000
     Pat motioned, Rasheedah seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – CNS - CDBG Admin                          $ 175,000
     Ned motioned, Pat seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – CNS - Emergency Repair                     $ 200,000
     Ned motioned, Virgie seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – CNS – Delivery Service                     $ 65,000
     Virgie motioned, Amy seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – CNS - Vinyl Siding                          $ 150,000
     Addie motioned, Virgie seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – DPW – Senior Transit                       $ 45,000
     Virgie motioned, Rasheedah seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – Engineering – Street Improvements       $       0
    Rasheedah motioned, Amy seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – Finance - Fire Station Bond              $ 159,453
     Ned motioned, Amy seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – Inspections – Demos & Board Ups           $ 50,000
     Addie motioned, Amy seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – Leisure Services- Youth Programs           $ 70,000
     Virgie motioned, Ned seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – Planning-Code Enforcement                 $ 47,500
     Addie motioned, Ned seconded, motion passed unanimously
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COM – Planning - Façade                        $ 20,000
     Ned motioned, Amy seconded, motion passed unanimously
Total                                                 $1,033,453

Virgie Jackson had to leave the meeting before the HOME recommendations started.

HOME Grants

Community enCompass                            $ 32,500
    Addie motioned, Ned seconded, motion passed unanimously

Tom Pastoor returned to the meeting

Habitat for Humanity                                 $ 56,650
      Tom motioned, Pat seconded, motion passed unanimously
      Ned Carter abstained from voting due to a conflict of interest
Neighborhood Investment Corp                    $ 18,350
     Pat motioned, Rasheedah seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM - CNS - HOME Administration                $ 30,000
     Tom motioned, Rasheedah seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – CNS - Rental Rehab                       $ 60,000
     Ned motioned, Tom seconded, motion passed unanimously
COM – CNS - Sr. Weatherization                 $ 60,000
     Rasheedah motioned, Amy seconded, motion passed 5/1. Pat voted nay.
Total                                                 $ 257,500


The next meeting will be on Tuesday, April 6, 2010 at 5:30pm in conference room
203. Patricia Montney adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m.

Respectively submitted,

Liz Parker
Community and Neighborhood Services
City of Muskegon

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