Goals and Objectives reviewed for 2021
Posted on 01/14/2021
On Grace Street, north of 8 Mile, the sanitary sewer and storm sewer lines were replaced along with the water main prior to street replacement. City Council held a special meeting on Jan. 11 to explore the City’s goals and objectives for the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2021-2022 and review the accomplishments of 2020. Eleven departments provided written reports and answered questions from Council members. City Manager Pat Sullivan presented an overview of those goals and will revise them based on Council feedback for a second presentation in the next few months.

Council voted in favor of emergency road funding to repair a damaged section of pavement on Novi Street between Langfield and Maplewood on the City’s northeast side. It was first noticed when a work crew went to the area on New Year’s Eve to repair a broken water main. Over time, water had seeped under the pavement, eroded it and caused it to become unstable. Nagle Paving, of Livonia, which had repaired City roads for the past several years, was called to the site to evaluate the work involved and provide a quote for emergency repairs.

The road was already slated for repair in the upcoming construction season, so work done now will shore up the road until the larger repair can be made in the spring. Asphalt will be removed on three-quarters of the road and crushed concrete will be placed flush, while the existing one-quarter of the road will be patched and secured to allow for a temporary one-way drive lane.

The bid was $16,955. Due to the nature of the project, the City is adding a 35% contingency for a total amount of $22,943. The City’s engineering consultants, Fleis & VandenBrink, will perform oversight and handle the administration aspects at a cost of $4,750. Both vendors’ costs are in line with industry standards.

While space precludes mentioning all the goals met in 2020, highlights include:

• Over the past eight years, the unfunded liability of retiree health care benefits dropped dramatically from $28 million in 2012 to $1.2 million in 2020, due to proactive fiscal management.

• Nearly $5 million worth of road, sanitary sewer and water repairs were completed in 2020 and the balance of funds from the road bond will be applied toward this season’s construction. At that point, the City will review road quality to determine ongoing costs for continued repair and replacement.

• The City successfully held three elections and one recount during a pandemic. Council members commended City Clerk Dianna Massa for a job well done. She thanked them and also credited good teamwork among staff and election supervisors.

• The DDA had to do a 180-degree turn from managing events and drawing people to town to instead helping restaurants and businesses survive and thrive during a pandemic by creating a Social District. “Businesses were willing to look outside the box,” said DDA Director Lori Ward. “They took advantage of every opportunity that we gave them.”

• Parking system funding – Two parking decks have been restored to good condition in 2019 and 2020 and two parking lots were resurfaced in 2020, yet a good funding mechanism is needed to keep up with repairs.

• Water loss has been kept to 9.62% for most of 2020, allowing the City to not incur a water fine for going over the contracted amount. In the future, the City may contract for a higher volume of water to meet demand while containing costs. “We had all hands on deck to get this penalty ($135,000 from GLWA) off our backs,” said DPW Director Loyd Cureton. Measures included using a variable speed device on the pump motor at the water tower, reducing peak hourly flow by monitoring usage and communicating with residents, and replacing 86% of old water meters with newer meters, which measure water usage more effectively.

• The master plans for non-motorized transportation and Parks and Recreation will be updated.

• The City needs to develop a plan for the Wing Street property it owns next to the post office, especially if the post office follows through on its plan to move to another location in the City.

• Sustainability efforts have led to some new lighting at City Hall with replacement toward LED lighting progressing for downtown Northville. The City is applying for silver status with the Michigan Municipal League’s Green Communities Challenge.

• Prepare for a renovation project to increase/improve Fire Dept. space, while improving energy efficiency.

Public comments: Joe Corriveau, who ran for City Council in 2019, said he would be willing to fill the seat of Council Member Sam Ekong if he moved out of the City (as he publicly stated at the last council meeting) before his term ended.

View the video here