City Commission Minutes 04-23-2024

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      CITY OF MUSKEGON
       CITY COMMISSION MEETING
               April 23, 2024 @ 5:30 PM
    MUSKEGON CITY COMMISSION CHAMBERS
   933 TERRACE STREET, MUSKEGON, MI 49440
                                  MINUTES

CALL TO ORDER
The Regular Commission Meeting of the City of Muskegon was held at City Hall, 933
Terrace Street, Muskegon, Michigan at 5:30 PM, Tuesday, April 23, 2024. Dr. Rob
Renberg, Pastor at Anchor Point Bible Church, opened the meeting with prayer, after
which the Commission and public recited the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.

ROLL CALL
Present: Mayor Ken Johnson, Vice Mayor Rebecca St. Clair, Commissioners Rachel
Gorman, Katrina Kochin, Jay Kilgo, and Willie German, Jr., City Manager Jonathan
Seyferth, City Attorney John Schrier, and City Clerk Ann Marie Meisch
Absent: Commissioner Destinee Keener

2024-35 HONORS, AWARDS, AND PRESENTATIONS

    A. SHPO Muskegon County Civil Rights Historic Survey Project Planning
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) was awarded a grant from the National
Park Service to identify and study sites of historic significance to the Civil Rights
Movement in Muskegon County. Staff from the City and the SHPO will present some
of the findings in the final report as well as the role the report can play in Muskegon's
historic preservation efforts.

In 2020, the Michigan SHPO was awarded a grant to survey Muskegon County Civil
Rights sites. The goal of the project was to document the Black experience in and
around Muskegon during the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement through field survey,
research, and interviews. Historically Black churches and schools, Green Book-listed
sites, homes and businesses of prominent local Civil Rights leaders, and places where
Civil Rights demonstrations took pace were surveyed. Additional information and the
final report can be reviewed on the project website: https://www.miplace.org/historic-
preservation/programs-and-service/mi-ivil-right-project/muskegon-civil-rights-sites-


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survey/
Katie Kolokithas, SHPO Survey Coordinator, and Jamie Pesch, City of Muskegon Planner,
presented a selection of sites identified and studied in the report.
    B. Women Veterans Day Resolution Manager's Office
Mayor Johnson read the resolution and thanked Women Veterans.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON AGENDA ITEMS
Public comments received.

2024-36 CONSENT AGENDA

    A. Approval of Minutes City Clerk
To approve the minutes of the April 8, 2024, Worksession Meeting and the April 9, 2024,
Regular Commission Meeting.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Approve the minutes.

    B. Relocation of the Muskegon Sports Hall of Fame Arena
Relocate the Muskegon Sports Hall of Fame's leased space to the interior wall of the
arena concourse. In October, 2021, the Commission passed a 5-year lease for the
Muskegon Sports Hall of Fame to occupy space inside Trinity Health Arena. This space
was to be re-allocated to the HOF when everything was removed during the original
arena renovation projects. For several years, the arena and the HOF have worked
together to accomplish the goal of re-creating what was lost. There have been several
attempts, but the timing and space just never seemed right with continued upgrades to
the arena's interior spaces. Staff and the Muskegon Sports Hall of Fame would like to
relocate the space to occupy the interior wall on the arena concourse. The relocation
will better serve the HOF, add value to the interior concourse, and help repair and finish
the current wall. The HOF will incur costs associated with the design, paneling, and
installation. Arena staff coordinated with Deborah Santiago-Sweet to install a 4ft
protective sheeting on the floor level to protect the wall from any damage during
events. This 4ft sheeting will be branded with the new City of Muskegon branding
standards.

AMOUNT REQUESTED:                 $2,250.000
FUND OR ACCOUNT:                  254 and 101-103-902
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the relocation of the Muskegon Sports Hall of
fame to occupy the interior wall of the arena concourse.




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    D. Health and Dental Care Renewal Finance
To approve the renewal of Priority Health as the City’s fully insured health care provider
and the Third-party Administrator for City’s self-funded health care plan. And to renew
Delta Dental as the City’s dental insurance provider.

AMOUNT REQUESTED:                   $3,050,000.00
FUND OR ACCOUNT:                    677
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the Health and Dental Care renewal as
presented.

    I.    Fireworks for Boys and Girls Club City Clerk
The Boys and Girls Club want to have a fireworks display for their annual gala on May 18,
2024. The City Commission previously approved a fireworks permit. Since that time, the
fireworks company backed out. Pyrotechnico Fireworks, Inc. has been hired for the
display. They are the company the City also uses for their annual fireworks display.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the fireworks display on May 18, 2024, for the Boys
and Girls Club by Pyrotecnico Fireworks, Inc. based on approval of the insurance and
Fire Marshal and authorize staff to sign any necessary paperwork.

    J. American Tower Company Cellular Antenna Renewal Public Works
Staff requests approval of a lease renewal with Muskegon Cellular Partnership d/b/a
Verizon Wireless for their antenna on the tower at the Harvey Booster Pump Station. In
November of last year, the Commission approved hiring Maralat Communications, LLC
(Tim Romanowski) to negotiate several cellular antenna leases that are expiring. The
first of those renewals has reached an agreeable lease document. Although the
business name appears the same as the antenna at the filtration plant that was recently
approved, this is for the renewal of a different antenna lease at the Harvey Booster
Pump Station located near Trinity Health Hospital. The lease includes the following
provisions:

    •    A one-time payment of $40,000 upon execution.
    •    Extension of the lease until November 30, 2061 if all renewals are used.
    •    Rent payments of $2,750 per month with a 3% annual escalator clause.
    •    A payment of $350 per month if any of the leased space is subleased to other
         cellular providers (not currently in effect).

The total revenue to the water fund if the entire lease term is used (excluding any future
sublease payments) is approximately $2,223,750 over the next 38 years. We receive
revenue from the existing lease, but this renewal represents a revenue increase of $250
per month (plus future escalations) in addition to the lump sum payment. The water



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budget will be updated in FY24-25 accordingly. The City attorney worked with the
consultant on preparation of the lease document, and staff recommends approval.

FUND OR ACCOUNT:                  591-000 (Water Revenue)
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Authorize the Mayor and Clerk to enter into a lease
agreement with Muskegon Cellular Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless for space on and
near the City's communications tower at the Harvey Booster Pump Station property with
the described terms.

Motion by Vice Mayor St.Clair, second by Commissioner Gorman, to approve the
Consent Agenda minus items C, E, F, G, and H.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: German, Gorman, Kochin, St.Clair, Johnson, and Kilgo
              Nays: None
MOTION PASSES


2024-37 ITEMS REMOVED FROM CONSENT

    C. Burning Foot Camping DPW- Parks and Recreation
The Burning Foot event organizers are requesting approval to allow camping on Pere
Marquette beach on August 24, 2024, and amend the camping fee to 10% of the
camping revenue instead of $20 per tent.
Burning Foot is returning to Pere Marquette on August 24, 2024. In the past, camping has
been allowed south of the bathhouse and some RVs at Margaret Drake Elliott Park.
There could be up to 300 tent sites and 30 RV campsites. Current policy states approval
must be given by City Commission to have camping at an event. Policy also states the
City Commission may opt to collect a percentage of camping revenue for larger event
in lieu of $20 per night per camper or tent. 10% of camping revenue is proposed this
year instead of the $20 per night per camper.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To authorize Burning Foot to provide camping at Pere
Marquette on August 24, 2024, and accept 10% of their camping revenue as a fee to
the City.

Motion by Commissioner German, second by Vice Mayor St.Clair, to authorize Burning
Foot to provide camping at Pere Marquette on August 24, 2024, and accept 10% of their
camping revenue as a fee to the City.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: German, Gorman, Kochin, St.Clair, Johnson, and Kilgo
              Nays: None




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MOTION PASSED
    E. Powdered Activated Carbon Purchase Public Works
Staff seeks authorization to purchase 8 tons of powered activated carbon (PAC) from
Water Solutions Unlimited for $28,170.
Powered activated carbon (PAC) is one of the few chemicals not purchased under a
consortium that includes neighboring communities, since the amounts needed are
small. The type of PAC that works best for each community varies. In 2023, the City
purchased PAC from Water Solutions Unlimited, known as AquaSorb CB3-MW, based on
recommendations that it would help with taste and odor concerns. Specifically, it can
help with the compounds known as geosmin, 2-methylisoborneol (MIB), and microcystin.
Although this is a slightly more expensive option, it is a more environmentally friendly
blend of coconut/wood/coal products compared to the solely bituminous coal
products used in the past.

Prices were asked for and are shown below; staff would like approval to continue using
the AquaSorb product, given that last year's trial was successful and that the associated
price increase is small.

Supplier                      Product             Amount ($)
General Carbon                GC WaterCarb        $19,320
Water Solutions Unlimited     AquaSorb CB3-MW     $28,170
Calgon                        WPH1000             $33,280
Haviland Products Company     Havatreat 247       $40,192
AMOUNT REQUESTED:                $28,170
FUND OR ACCOUNT:                 591-558
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Authorize staff to purchase 8 tons of powered activated
carbon (PAC) from Water Solutions Unlimited for $28,170.

Motion by Commissioner Kochin, second by Commissioner German, to Authorize staff to
purchase 8 tons of powered activated carbon (PAC) from Water Solutions Unlimited for
$28,170.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: Kilgo, German, Gorman, Kochin, St.Clair, and Johnson
              Nays: None
MOTION PASSES
    F. Rezoning of Properties at Oak Ave / Riley St Planning

Request to rezone the following properties from MC, Medical Care to Form Based Code,
Neighborhood Edge: 1760, 1761, 1771, 1775, 1789, 1803, 1811, 1819, 1827, 1835 Wells
Ave; 1762, 1770, 1776, 1784, 1790, 1803, 1812, 1820, 1828, 1836 Oak Ave; 0 Wagner Ave



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(property numbers 24-661-000-0032-00 and 24-661-000-0033-00). The Planning
Commission unanimously voted to recommend approval of the rezoning request.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the request to rezone the following properties
from MC, Medical Care to Form Based Code, Neighborhood Edge: 1760, 1761, 1771,
1775, 1789, 1803, 1811, 1819, 1827, 1835 Wells Ave; 1762, 1770, 1776, 1784, 1790, 1803,
1812, 1820, 1828, 1836 Oak Ave; 0 Wagner Ave (property numbers 24-661-000-0032-00
and 24-661-000-0033-00).

Motion by Commissioner Kilgo, second by Commissioner Kochin, to approve the
request to rezone the properties as presented from MC, Medical Care to Form Based
Code, Neighborhood Edge.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: Johnson, Kilgo, German, Gorman, Kochin, and St.Clair
              Nays: None
MOTION PASSED (REQUIRES SECOND READING)

    G. Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance - Outdoor Seating Planning
Staff initiated request to amend Sections 2003.04 and 2308 of the zoning ordinance to
modify the regulations on outdoor seating. The Planning Commission unanimously
recommended approval of the ordinance amendment.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the request to amend Sections 2003.04 and 2308
of the zoning ordinance to modify the regulations on outdoor seating as proposed.

Motion by Commissioner Kilgo, second by Vice Mayor St.Clair, to approve the request
to amend Sections 2003.04 and 2308 of the zoning ordinance to modify the regulations
on outdoor seating as proposed.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: St.Clair, Johnson, Kilgo, German, Gorman, and Kochin
              Nays: None
MOTION PASSED (REQUIRES SECOND READING)
    H. Sale of 1408 Leahy Planning
Staff is requesting approval of a Purchase Agreement for 1408 Leahy. 1408 Leahy was
constructed through the agreement with Dave Dusendang to construct infill housing
with ARPA funding. The offer is over the full listing price with the seller to contribute
$4,950 of purchase price towards buyers closing costs, pre paids and discount points.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the Purchase Agreement for 1408 Leahy.

Motion by Commissioner Kilgo, second by Commissioner German, to approve the



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Purchase Agreement for 1408 Leahy.

Motion by Commissioner German to table this item. No second.

Vote on 1st Motion:
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: Kochin, St.Clair, Johnson, Kilgo, and Gorman
              Nays: German
MOTION PASSED
2024-38 PUBLIC HEARINGS

    A. 2024 Annual Action Plan Community & Neighborhood Services
Citizen input is a necessary process of program activities for the CDBG/HOME annual
allocations. The 2024 Annual Action Plan comment period is another opportunity to
comment on the programs and activities proposed during the Hearing. The Annual
Action Plan is available on our website for citizen review and comment period of 30
days from April 16 -May 16, 2023. A public hearing is another opportunity to comment
about the Federal CDBG and HOME program activities performed during the fiscal year
2024 (July 1,2024 - June 30, 2025).

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To conduct a Public Hearing for the 2024 Annual Action Plan
review.

The Public Hearing opened to hear and consider any comments from the public.
 Comments were heard from Veania Coleman.

Motion by Commissioner German, second by Commissioner Kilgo, to close the Public
Hearing for the 2024 Annual Action Plan review and continue to accept comments
through May 16, 2024.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: German, Gorman, Kochin, St.Clair, Johnson, and Kilgo
              Nays: None
MOTION PASSED
2024-39 NEW BUSINESS

    A. STR Exemption Appeal - 1450 Nelson Manager's Office
Appeal of an administrative denial to receive an exemption to the STR registration
pause for 1450 Nelson. The owners of 1450 Nelson Street applied for a special
exemption to the current Short-Term Rental Pause, which was implemented on March
12, 2024. Their appeal was received in the City Manager's office on Monday, March 25.



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Their request was reviewed based on the STR Appeal Guidelines (attached), which can
also be found on the STR Connect Muskegon Page. The three primary factors
considered in an STR review are (only 1 of the 3 standards need to be met for an
exemption to be issued):

    • Property was in the process of being purchased at the time the pause went into
      place (an offer must have been accepted before the pause was put into place).
    • Permits have been issued for work to build/update a property
    • Work completed to date on the property related to a transition to being a Short
      Term Rental

After reviewing the information provided by the applicants, it showed the following:
- The property is a vacant lot and was purchased in 2021 (I incorrectly noted 2022 in the
denial letter).
- There are no active permits on the property (there have been permits in the past, but
those have expired, including Critical Dune Permit (Nov. 2021), Building Permit (Nov.
2021), Soil Erosion Permit (Nov. 2021).
- No work has been completed on the property to date.

The owners have been planning to contract with a home builder sometime in 2024 with
a goal of completing construction in 2025. They were applying for an exemption to
have some assurances they could use the home as an STR in 2025 once construction
was complete.

The denial of the Exemption from the City Manager's office was based on the fact that
none of the three criteria were met at this time and, as noted in the denial letter, that
the construction timeline would largely be after the City's goal of having new STR
policies in place. There is also an appeal letter from the property owners as well as other
communication between the City Manager's office and the property owner.

Please note this is at the discretion of the City Commission. The staff has no
recommendation regarding an action.

Regarding procedure - staff recommends that the Commission have the City Manager
present the findings and materials and then, ask the property owners, Dr. Leigh Pava
Wendtland & Mr. Carlos Pava if they would like to present any additional information.
Staff and the applicant can then answer any questions from the Commission. Based on
the discussion, the Commission would either grant an exemption or uphold the current
denial.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: None

Motion by Commissioner Kilgo, second by Commissioner Gorman, to approve the



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application for 1450 Nelson and nullify the denial from the City Manager.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: German, Gorman, Kochin, and Kilgo
              Nays: St.Clair and Johnson
MOTION PASSES
    B. Recreational Easement Agreement City of Muskegon & Holy Trinity Church of
       God in Christ (Joe Clifford Park) DPW- Parks
Staff seeks authorization to enter into a recreational easement agreement with Holy
Trinity Church of God in Christ at 2140 Valley Street to continue offering and to improve
Joe Clifford Park in the East Muskegon Neighborhood. This agreement is an extension
and expansion of the current lease that is set to expire in 2026 at Holy Trinity Church of
God in Christ 2140 Valley St. This will grant the City of Muskegon an easement that will
include a higher level of maintenance within Joe Clifford Park. We also plan to invest in
a new playground structure and make splash pad improvements at this location
through the newly adopted parks capital improvement plan. This document provides a
safety net for those investments and improves the level of service at this location. It has
been reviewed by the city's attorney.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Authorize staff to enter into the recreational easement
agreement with Holy Trinity Church of God in Christ at 2140 Valley Street.

Motion by Commissioner Gorman, second by Commissioner Kilgo, to authorize staff to
enter into the recreational easement agreement with Holy Trinity Church of God in Christ
at 2140 Valley Street.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: Kilgo, German, Gorman, Kochin, St. Clair, and Johnson
              Nays: None
MOTION PASSED
    C. ARPA Allocation - Parks & Recreation Capital Improvements Manager's Office
Staff requests approval to allocate $4,500,000 from the city's remaining ARPA funds to
be invested in Parks and Recreation Capital Improvement projects. The City of
Muskegon's federal allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds totaled
$22,881,894. These federal funds must be incurred (allocated) by December 31, 2024,
and expended by December 31, 2026.

At a work session held on January 6, 2023, the City Commission committed $4.5M to
develop a multi-year Parks and Recreation Capital Improvement plan. Since then, a
new Parks and Recreation Director has been hired, a Parks and Recreation Advisory
Committee has been created, a series of public engagement events have been held
throughout the city, and a community survey has been conducted. These efforts were
intended to develop a comprehensive plan based on community feedback and input



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to improve the condition of our parks and recreation system assets.

Dedicating these resources reflects a substantial investment which helps fill the
investment gap experienced in this infrastructure for many years. Additional dedicated
revenue from Pere Marquette Park Beach Parking and Trinity Health Convention Center
Naming Rights, along with other future grant funding awards, will be used to make these
improvements.

AMOUNT REQUESTED:              $4,500,000
FUND OR ACCOUNT:               101/404
STAFF RECOMMENDATION: Staff requests approval to formally allocate $4,500,000 from
the city's remaining ARPA funds to be invested in Parks and Recreation Capital
Improvement projects.

Motion by Commissioner Kochin, second by Commissioner Kilgo, to approve to formally
allocate $4,500,000 from the City's remaining ARPA funds to be invested in Parks and
Recereation Capital Improvements Projects.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: Johnson, Kilgo, German, Gorman, Kochin, and St.Clair
              Nays: None
MOTION PASSES
    D. Intent to establish PACE District and Utilize Lean & Green Michigan as
       Administrator Planning
Request to set a public hearing to establish a property assessed clean energy (PACE)
program and to select Lean & Mean Michigan as administrator. The property assessed
clean energy (PACE) model is a mechanism for financing energy efficiency and
renewable energy improvements on private property. PACE programs allow a property
owner to finance the up-front cost of energy or other eligible improvements on a
property and then pay the costs back over time through a voluntary assessment. PACE
assessments are attached to the property rather than an individual and are available
for residential and commercial developments. In order to participate in PACE funding,
the City must create a PACE district and select an administrator to facilitate projects.
This resolution is to set the public hearing to adopt a PACE program as May 14 and to
release the draft PACE Program Report to the public. Staff is recommending to work
with Lean & Mean Michigan as the program administrator. Very minimal staff
involvement is necessary once the PACE program is established by the Commission and
there is no cost to the City to participate.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To approve the resolution of intent and release the draft
PACE Program Report to the public.




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Motion by Commissioner Kilgo, second by Vice Mayor St.Clair, to approve the resolution
of intent and release the draft PACE Program Report to the public.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: St.Clair, Johnson, Kilgo, Keener, German, Gorman, and Kochin
              Nays: None
MOTION PASSES

    E. Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance - 24-Hour Marihuana Sales Planning
The Green Abyss, operators of the Grassy Knoll, have applied to amend the zoning
ordinance to allow all marihuana retailers in the Marihuana Facilities Overlay District to
be able to operate 24-hours per day. The ordinance currently allows marihuana retailers
to be open from 8am to 12am. The Planning Commission unanimously recommended
denying the request.

STAFF RECOMMENDATION: To deny the request to amend the zoning ordinance to allow
marihuana retailers within the Marihuana Facilities Overlay District to operate 24-hours
per day.

Motion by Vice Mayor St.Clair, second by Commissioner German, to deny the request
to amend the zoning ordinance to allow marihuana retailers within the Marihuana
Facilities Overlay District to operate 24-hours per day.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: Kochin, St.Clair, Johnson, German, and Gorman
              Nays: Kilgo
MOTION PASSES
    F. Resolution to Support the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Cities Initiative's creation of a
       Mayors' Commission on Economic Transformation Manager's Office
Item moved to the May 14, 2024, Commission Meeting by Mayor Johnson.


ANY OTHER BUSINESS
Mayor Johnson commented on the letter from the City Manager reference
management of Hartshorn Marina. City will resume management by City staff May 22,
2024.

PUBLIC COMMENT ON NON-AGENDA ITEMS
Public comments received.

2024-40 CLOSED SESSION




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    A. Attorney/Client privileged communication Manager's Office
Motion by Vice Mayor St.Clair, second by Commissioner Kilgo, to move to go into
Closed Session to consult with our attorneys regarding settlement strategy in connection
with West Michigan Dock & Market Corporation v City of Muskegon, Muskegon County
Circuit Court, Case No. 22-3962-CZ because an open meeting would have a
detrimental financial effect on the settlement position of the City of Muskegon.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: German, Gorman, Kochin, St.Clair, Johnson, and Kilgo
              Nays: None
MOTION PASSES

Motion by Vice Mayor St.Clair, second by Commissioner Kochin, to go into Open
Session.
ROLL VOTE:    Ayes: Kilgo, German, Gorman, Kochin, St.Clair, and Johnson
              Nays: None
MOTION PASSES

ADJOURNMENT: The City Commission Meeting adjourned at 10:25 p.m.


                                      Respectfully Submitted,



                                      Ann Marie Meisch, MMC City Clerk




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