OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE

MARQUETTE CITY COMMISSION

March 29, 2010

A regular meeting of the Marquette City Commission was duly called and held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, March 29, 2010 in Commission Chambers at City Hall.

 

ROLL CALL

The roll call of the Commission was taken.

Present: Mayor Kivela and Mayor Pro-Tem DePetro, Commissioners Linna, Niemi, Ryan, Saint-Onge, and Stonehouse.

Absent: None.

 

AGENDA

Mayor Kivela announced this was the time for any changes to be made to the agenda.  It was moved by Commissioner Ryan and supported to Commissioner Niemi to add an item of discussion on the Heartwood Forestland issue.  Mayor Kivela said this would be added as item #8 on the agenda.

It was then moved by Commissioner Ryan, supported by Commissioner Linna and carried unanimously to approve the agenda with the addition of a discussion on the Heartwood Forestland.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Kivela said there is a Special Commission meeting scheduled for Tuesday, March 30th beginning at 5:15 p.m. He said the meeting will be held in Commission Chambers and that interviews of two candidates for the City Manager position would be conducted at that time. Mayor Kivela also said the Commission meeting scheduled for April 12, 2010 has been moved to Thursday April 8, 2010 so that Commissioners can attend the annual MML conference. 

 

PRESENTATION – UPCM Explainer of the Quarter:  

Jim Edwards, U. P Children’s Museum Education Coordinator, introduced Haley Longuski as the U. P Children’s Museum’s (UPCM) Explainer of the Quarter.  Mayor Kivela then joined Mr. Edwards and Ms. Longuski at the lectern for the presentation of a certificate of appreciation to Haley Longuski.  Mayor Kivela thanked Haley for her efforts on behalf of the UPCM and congratulated her on being selected as the UPCM’s Explainer of the Quarter. 

 

PRESENTATION – NMU Master Plan by President Les Wong

Mayor Kivela introduced NMU President Les Wong and thanked him for attending our meeting to update the City on NMU’s Master Plan.  President Wong provided an overview of the plan saying the plan is a Principle Driven Plan with the following six underlying principles: 1) Assess the campus’ infill capacity and ideal organization; 2) Reinforce the campus’ unique lakefront environment; 3) Provide a high quality image and identity for the institution; 4) Improve the physical environment for students; 5) Develop partnership opportunities; 6) Establish a flexible planning framework.  He said the organizational strategy is to focus on the academic core, housing neighborhoods, athletics and recreation, mixed use corridor and research and technology.  President Wong also said the plan includes a focus on pedestrian Circulation on campus and future parking arrangements with parking to be located within a five minute walk of core functions of the university.  He said an emphasis would be made to reduce pedestrian and vehicle conflicts.  President Wong also reviewed the current plan and plans to construct a stage near the Lake Superior shoreline with the audience looking at the stage and with the lake as a backdrop.  President Wong said the NMU currently has an enrollment of 9,500 and it is hoped to have this number top out at 10,000 over the long hall.  President Wong also thanked the City for a very good working relationship with the City especially with cooperation from the City Planning and Information Services Departments.  Mayor Kivela thanked President Wong for coming to this evening’s meeting and updating the City on the future efforts of NMU.

 

PROCLAMATION – Honoring the Gaines Family

Whereas, William Washington Gaines was born a slave and freed by his biological father, Pitt Gaines; and,

Whereas, William Gaines and his wife Mary arrived in Marquette in 1855 and William worked in Marquette for Herman Ely as a groundskeeper; and,

Whereas, the Gaines family lived for years on an outcropping of granite now known as Gaines Rock; and,

Whereas, the couple’s grandchildren remembered their grandfather as a kind man who always kept candy in one pocket and a handful of pennies in another to delight any child he met; and,

Whereas, the Gaines’ son Charles became a barber, porter and drayman in Marquette and in 1914 ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the City Commission; and,

Whereas, black self-help groups nurtured members of the Gaines family and helped them maintain their “personal pride” in spite of the racism of the time; and,

Whereas, Gaines Rock has sheltered many people over the years, including hoboes and other railroad travelers; and,

Whereas, the City of Marquette recognizes the contributions of the Gaines family to the rich history of our community;

Now, Therefore, Be It Proclaimed, that the City of Marquette establishes the week of March 29, 2010, as the Gaines Family Recognition Week in the City of Marquette.

 

BOARDS AND COMMITTEES

Mayor Kivela stepped to the lectern and recognized outgoing member Muriel Kangas of the Public Works Advisory Board.  Mayor Kivela presented her with parting gifts from the City and thanked her for her service.

 

Mayor Kivela then reviewed the appointments of Erik Booth (BLP recommended appointee) to the Sustainable Community Ad-Hoc Committee, and Ruthann Christie to the Elections Board.

It was moved by Commissioner Stonehouse, supported by Commissioner Ryan, and carried unanimously to approve the reappointments of Erik Booth (BLP recommended appointee): Sustainable Community Ad-Hoc Committee, term ending 09-01-1, and Ruthann Christie: Elections Board, for the term 04-12-10 through 04-12-14.

 

Mayor Kivela then reviewed the reappointments of Samuel Bennett to the Investment Advisory Committee; Erick Brooks, Joan Reynolds Miller and Rene Schwemin to the Presque Isle Park Advisory Committee; and Jon Barch, Gloria Conklin and Kathleen Lankinen to the Sister City Advisory Committee; and Jack Reynolds to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

It was moved by Commissioner Ryan, supported by Commissioner DePetro, and carried unanimously to approve the reappointments of Samuel Bennett to the  Investment Advisory Committee, term ending 04-01-13; Erick Brooks, Joan Reynolds Miller and Rene Schwemin to the Presque Isle Park Advisory Committee, terms ending 04-01-13; Jon Barch, Gloria Conklin and Kathleen Lankinen to the Sister City Advisory Committee with terms ending 04-01-13; and Jack Reynolds to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, term ending 01-29-13.

 

CITIZEN COMMENT

Doug Kitchel asked to reserve time to speak under agenda item six.  Frank Verito asked to speak on items #6 and #8.  Mr. Verito expressed his opinions on dog waste on the City bike path system and the proposed current gage at Picnic Rocks.  He said this area is a swimming danger at all times and access should be restricted.  Mr. Verito also commented that signage should be limited to preserve the natural beauty of our local community.  Matt Lindberger said he was opposed to a fourth marina in the City and the current City Marinas are not cost effective because of long term maintenance issues.  He said private marinas should be encouraged versus City owned operations and he expressed concern over maintaining the historic images of the Lower Harbor.  Don Potvin said the Commission should not repair or add to City marinas just because it can be done.  He said the rational should be solid before a decision is made.  He said dredging costs seem high for the Presque Isle Marina.  He suggested repairing and replacing the launching pad at the Presque Isle Marina with a larger footprint.  He said user fees charged for marina services should be reviewed especially for slip users.  Mr. Potvin also said the proposed Founders Landing Marina is not needed and the Founders Landing developers should provide funding if a new marina is constructed there.   He also commented that the old pilings should remain intact as a historic site.  Mr. Potvin also encouraged the Commission to complete the water/sewer project on Lakeshore Boulevard.  Russell Kangas requested that the Commissioners speak directly into their microphones because voices are not transmitted on television otherwise making it difficult for viewers at home.  David Allie said he is a resident of Lakeshore Boulevard and he has a septic system serving his home.  He said in the same area there are approximately forty homes in the same situation.  Mr. Allie expressed concern that he may have to pay to update his septic system and then he may have to connect to a City sewer system and be responsible for both costs.  He said many years ago a developer proposed installing a “dry stack” marina at the Cinder Pond Marina location.  He said there was support for this proposal; however, it was never completed.  Mr. Allie said “dry stack” marinas are viable and have a good appearance and can be privately operated.  Joe Constance, member of the Landing Development Group, provided an update on Founders Landing.  He said the second building is now under construction and he said four of seven units under construction have been sold and the third building will be under construction in the fall.  Mr. Constance said there will also be activity on parcel three and negotiations are concluding with a hotelier for Founders Landing as well.  He thanked City staff for their efforts and in helping to move the project along.  Jorma Lankinen said the information provided by the University, the issues going on with the City and the Development on Founders Landing are all very positive signs for the future of our area.

 

CONSENT AGENDA

The City Clerk presented the consent agenda.

It was moved by Commissioner Linna, supported by Commissioner Niemi and carried unanimously to approve the consent agenda as follows: A. Approve the minutes of the March 10, 2010 special Commission meeting; B. Approve the total bills payable in the amount of $827,949.97; C. Adopt a resolution recognizing Lake Superior Hospice as a non-profit organization operating in the community for the purpose of obtaining a charitable gaming license, and authorize the Clerk to sign the resolution; D. Approve Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs grant application request for existing programming and services, and authorize the Acting City Manager to sign the subsequent administrative paperwork; E. Approve the letter of support for the Iron Ore Heritage Recreational Trail’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment Trust Fund grant application, and authorize the Mayor to sign the letter.

                                               

MARINAS AT PRESQUE ISLE AND FOUNDERS LANDING AND RESOLUTION OF AUTHORIZATION – MARQUETTE PRESQUE ISLE MARINA

 A report and recommendation from Acting City Manager Angeli was read regarding the Marinas at Presque Isle and Founders Landing and a resolution of authorization for the Presque Isle Marina.  Doug Kitchel said he was a member of the Marina Steering committee and he is addressing the Commission tonight with his own concerns.  He said he supports the plans presented for the Presque Isle Marina, and he urged the Commission to approve the recommended plan.  Mr. Kitchel said he has three issues with the Founders Landing Marina proposal: 1. the piling issue, 2. funding Issues, and 3. limited demand for large transient boaters.  He suggested the Commission determine the need and level of support in the community for a new marina before approving the steering committee recommendation.   He also said the City also has to be aware of maintenance costs that will be needed for the Cinder Pond Marina.  Frank Verito expressed his opinion that the two marinas should be handled as separate issues.  He said care should be taken to include public access to any pier development and that building heights should be controlled in the area being considered for the new marina.  Commissioner Saint-Onge said he agreed with Mr. Verito that the two marina issues should be considered separately.  Commissioner Ryan said he is concerned with how this should be presented to the public and he said ultimately the only issue being considered for funding tonight is phase one which is marina dredging.  Commissioner Stonehouse agreed with Commissioner Ryan and said the first three phases of the Presque Isle Marina plan are very important to the community.  He said that by approving the overall plan does not bind the City to future funding requirements.  Commissioner DePetro asked if the two marina issues could be considered separately.  City Attorney Keefe said that the two issues could be considered separately in two different motions: One to adopt the resolution authorizing phase one of the Presque Isle Marina plan and another to approve the master plan for the Founders Landing Marina.  There was additional discussion resulting in the following motions:

It was moved by Commissioner Ryan, supported by Commissioner Stonehouse and carried on a six-to-one roll call vote to approve the phased project plan for Presque Isle Marina (with the understanding that each phase will have to be authorized by the Commission) and adopt the resolution of authorization for phase one of Presque Isle Marina project; and authorize the Mayor and City Clerk to sign the resolution.

 Ayes: Mayor Kivela and Commissioners Ryan, Stonehouse, DePetro, Linna and Niemi.

Nays: Commissioner Saint-Onge

Absent: None

It was then moved by Commissioner Ryan, supported by Commissioner Stonehouse and carried on a six-to-one vote (with Commissioner Saint-Onge voting no) to approve the Master Plan for Founders Landing Marina.

 

CITY HALL ELEVATOR REPAIR

A report and recommendation from Acting City Manager Angeli was read regarding BP09-30 City Hall elevator repair.

It was then moved by Commissioner Niemi, supported by Commissioner Saint-Onge, and carried unanimously to award the bid for City Hall elevator repairs to Otis Elevator Co. of Negaunee, Michigan to install a new elevator pump and control for the amount of $14,990, being low bid and meeting specifications.

 

HEARTWOOD FORESTLAND PROPERTIES

Frank Verito expressed his opinion that this item should have been on the agenda already rather than as a late addition to the agenda so that the public could have an opportunity to review the issues.  He also expressed concerns about the amount of property that will be available for development versus what will be available for public use and preservation.  Commissioner Ryan said he asked to have this item added to the agenda because he would like to see it moved forward.  He said this is a very important issue to the community and it has been very costly.  Commissioner Ryan said he proposes having an opportunity for public comment on the Heartwood Forestland Committee report, invite Marquette and Sands Townships to discuss the property with the City, and have City staff research whether there is some form of public funding to retain lands for public ownership (i.e. DNR Trust Fund, Nature Conservancy etc.). 

It was moved by Commissioner Ryan, supported by Commissioner Niemi and carried unanimously to hold a public forum to discuss the Heartwood Forestland Plan within 60 days, invite Marquette and Sands Townships to a meeting to discuss this issue with the City, and have City staff research whether there is some form of public funding to retain lands for public ownership (i.e. DNR Trust Fund, Nature Conservancy etc.). 

 

CITIZEN COMMENT

Frank Verito said commented on the U.P. 200 Sled Dog Race, attendance and great view offered to spectators.  He said it is the greatest event this side of Vancouver.  He also commented on the contamination at the Cliffs Dow site and Founders Landing development.

 

NIEMI

Commissioner Niemi encouraged everyone to fill out the Census forms and send them in.

 

DEPETRO

Commi DePetro congratulated Patrol Officer Cindy Acocks of the Marquette City Police Department ten years of service with the City. He said Brian Naze of the Marquette Fire Department is celebrating his 20th year of service with the City as a Level one firefighter. Commissioner DePetro also congratulated the Police and Fire Departments on a very successful Pigs-N-Heat Hockey game fund raiser.  He said that over $17,500 was raised for the Fire Relief Fund.  He said since 1984 over $336,000 has been raised.  Commissioner DePetro also thanked area businesses and volunteers for their support of this fund raiser.  He also thanked Jim Finkbeiner of the City Police Department for serving as the fund treasurer.  Commissioner DePetro also thanked his fellow Commissioners, employees of the City and area residents for their expressions of sympathy following his family’s loss of their mother Clarice DePetro last week. 

 

RYAN

Commissioner Ryan said he believes the City is in good hands with Acting City Manager Angeli and that many issues have moved forward during this time.

 

STONEHOUSE

Commissioner Stonehouse said it is good to see some movement on the Heartwood Forestland Properties, and he reminded residents that City Manager interviews will be conducted tomorrow beginning at 5:15 p.m. in Commission Chambers.  Commissioner Stonehouse also thanked President Wong for addressing the Commission and providing information on the University’s future plans.  He also cautioned early season fisherman to be very cautious while fishing and to have a float plan in place.

 

KIVELA

Mayor Kivela offered condolences on behalf to the Commission to Commissioner DePetro and his family following the loss of his mother.  He said he did not know Clarice he could tell she must have been a wonderful lady by the character and qualities exhibited by her children.

 

ANGELI

Acting City Manager Angeli thanked Commissioner Ryan for his kind comments.  He said the Human Resources office and has been working diligently to provide the Commission with a good selection of candidates; however, he said there will only be two candidates available tomorrow night.  Mr. Angeli also said that he will be meeting again with the Founders Landing developers and hopefully there will be more to report in the near future.  Mr. Angeli also said he met with attorney Rich Barand and Tom Anthos regarding the Cliffs Dow property and he said there is progress being made on that issue and there should be a report completed in the near future that will give direction as how the City should proceed.  Acting City Manager Angeli then asked Karl Zueger, Assistant City Manager/Community Services Director to make a comment regarding the funding for the current bouy that was proposed for the Picnic Rocks area.  Mr. Zueger said the current meter would provide real time data for the City and the National Weather Service.  Mr. Zueger said we have just been made aware of possible grant funding through the Great Lakes Observing System.  He said a representative from the National Weather Service brought that opportunity to light in a recent discussion.  He said a grant application was subsequently submitted for the program in the amount of $26,570 that would completely cover the first year.  He said subsequent years would cost about $900 each for cellular phone service and batteries.  Mr. Zueger said that the annual costs would be covered through a partnership between the City and the National Weather Service.  He said we should know the results of the grant application by August of this year and he thanked everyone involved with this project.

 

The meeting was adjourned at 9:37 p.m.

 

______________________________     _________________________________

John P. Kivela                                              David J. Bleau

Mayor                                                            City Clerk