City Commission Worksession Minutes 01-09-2023

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                                         City of Muskegon

                                           Work Session


                                   January 9, 2023, 5:30 pm
                                      Muskegon City Hall
                            933 Terrace Street, Muskegon, MI 49440

Present:                   Mayor Ken Johnson
                           Commissioner Rachel Gorman
                           Commissioner Rebecca St.Clair
                           Commissioner Eric Hood
                           Vice Mayor Willie German, Jr.
                           Commissioner Michael Ramsey
                           Commissioner Teresa Emory

Staff Present:             City Clerk Ann Meisch
                           City Attorney John Schrier
                           Deputy City Clerk Kimberly Young
                           City Manager Jonathan Seyferth

1.     Call to Order

       Mayor Ken Johnson called the Worksession meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.

       1.a       MIHAF (Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund) - City Treasurer

                 City Treasurer Sarah Wilson provided an overview of the State of Michigan
                 Homeowner Assistance Fund Program.

                 The Homeowner Assistance Fund was established as part of the American
                 Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). The State of Michigan received more than 242
                 million dollars, to be used to mitigate hardships associated with the coronavirus
                 pandemic, including utility payments. The State created the Michigan
                 Homeowner Assistance Fund (MIHAF) to provide these funds to eligible
                 homeowners. The City Treasurer is requesting authorization to sign the attached

      documents to partner with MIHAF so that any eligible city residents can receive
      utility payment assistance.

      The Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund (MIHAF) is a statewide program that
      uses federal resources to provide financial assistance to homeowners who have
      fallen behind on homeownership-related expenses because of the COVID-19
      Pandemic. It provides funds to eligible entities for the purpose of preventing
      homeowner mortgage delinquencies, defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or
      home energy services, and displacements of homeowners through qualified
      expenses related to mortgages and housing. Eligibility criteria and eligible
      expenses are detailed on the attached documents. Participation in the program
      does not guarantee our residents will receive funding from this program;
      however, it does make them eligible to apply for funding. If we choose not to
      partner with MIHAF, our residents cannot apply for these funds to assist in
      paying their utility bills.

      Discussion took place regarding the Homeowner Assistance Fund and this item
      will appear on the agenda for the Regular City Commission Meeting on January
      10, 2023.

1.b   ARPA Community Grant - Discussion Only - Development Services

      Peter Wills, Director of Strategic Initiatives, provided an update to the City
      Commission on the work that has been done by the ARP Team which includes
      the City's Division Heads. The team is seeking feedback on the proposed "ARP
      Community Grant Program".

      Seeking authorization to dedicate $2,000,000 from the City's remaining
      allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal stimulus funds for the
      creation of an "ARP Community Grant" program.

      The federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP), signed into law 3/11/21,
      provided $350 billion to eligible state, local, territorial, and tribal governments to
      support and meet the public health and economic needs of those impacted by
      the COVID-19 public health emergency in their communities as well as address
      longstanding health and economic disparities, which amplified the impact of the
      pandemic in disproportionally impacted communities, resulting in more severe
      pandemic impacts. These funds are being made available through the federal
      Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (“SLFRF”) program. The
      program ensures that governments have the resources needed to:

    •   Fight the pandemic and support families and businesses struggling with
        its public health and economic impacts,

    •   Maintain vital public services, even amid declines in revenue, and

    •   Build a strong, resilient, and equitable recovery by making investments
        that support long-term growth and opportunity.

Of the approximately $6,180,000 from the City’s remaining balance of federal
ARP stimulus funds, $2,000,000 would be available to establish a new city-
sponsored ARP Community Grant program.

Program to seek proposals from eligible 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and
small businesses, located in the city limits. Grant funds intended to advance
equity, strengthen the economic vitality of the city, and strengthen the quality of
life for city residents. Proposals must meet the objectives of the ARPA program
and be aligned with the City’s Long Term Goals and strategic priorities.

Grant program details:

    •   Eligible applicants include: 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations with up to
        $2 million in operating expenses & small businesses which meet the U.S.
        Small Business Administration’s small business size standards.

    •   Grant funds to be used for costs incurred on or after March 3, 2021.

    •   Grant Applications available 2/1/23. Application deadline 3/1/23. Final
        recommendations announced to public by March 28, 2023.

    •   Grant awards in the range from $25,000 to 250,000. Fixed grant amounts
        only for: $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, $150,000, $200,000 or
        $250,000. Cost share/matching funds not required.

    •   The number of grants will be limited by the budgeted amount.

    •   Proposed projects must be obligated/contracted by 12/31/24, and funds
        spent by 12/31/26.

    •   Applicants awarded grant funds will enter into a contractual agreement
        (SLFRF Beneficiary Agreement) with the city which outlines general
        obligations and reporting requirements.

Complete applications sent to ARP City Staff Review Committee (the Committee)
for consideration. Committee ranks eligible applications and sends a list of
recommended recipients and grant amounts to the City Commission for final

            approval. Commission reviews and approves selected recipient applications at a
            Regular Meeting of the Commission (3/28/23).

            Discussion took place and some changes will be made to the program. This will
            be brought back to the Commission for final approval after updates are made.

     1.c    ARPA Proposal for Park Improvements - Public Works

            Staff is proposing to invest a significant portion of the remaining ARP funding
            into a revision of the Parks & Recreation Master Plan and a resultant multi-year
            parks capital improvement program. Staff is proposing to dedicate roughly
            $4.5M of the remaining ARP funds towards Parks Capital Improvement projects
            to help fill the investment gap in the next few years. By combining a stream of
            ARP dollars with the existing dedicated revenue from Paid Parking ($400K Annual
            Average), the Convention Center Naming Rights ($150K Annual Average), and
            any obtainable grant funding we should be able to show what can be
            accomplished with a level of investment commensurate to our ambitions from
            the 2019 and 2022 plans.

            Discussion took place regarding the ARP Proposal for Park Improvements.

2.   Public Comment

     Public comment was received.

3.   Closed Session - Pending Litigation - 22-002888-CZ - Rachel McMillan v City of
     Muskegon, Jeffery Lewis, and Jay Paulson

     No. 2023-01

     To go into closed session to consult with our attorney regarding trial and settlement
     strategy concerning Rachel McMillan v City o Muskegon, Jeffery Lewis, and Jay Paulson,
     14th Judicial Circuit Case No. 22-002888-CZ because a discussion in an open meeting
     would have a detrimental effect on the litigating or settlement position of the City of

     YES: (6): Mayor Johnson, Commissioner Gorman, Commissioner St.Clair, Commissioner
     Hood, Vice Mayor German, and Commissioner Emory

     Absent (1): Commissioner Ramsey

                                                                    MOTION PASSES (6 to 0)

     No. 2023-02

     To go out of closed session.

                                                                              MOTION PASSES

4.   Closed Session - Pending Litigation-22-003962-CZ - West Michigan Mart Dock &
     Market Corporation v City of Muskegon

     No. 2023-03

     To go into closed session to consult with our attorney regarding trial and settlement
     strategy concerning West Michigan Dock & Market Corporation v City of Muskegon,
     14th Judicial Circuit Case No. 22-003962-CZ because a discussion in an open meeting
     would have a detrimental effect on the litigating or settlement position of the City of

     YES: (7): Mayor Johnson, Commissioner Gorman, Commissioner St.Clair, Commissioner
     Hood, Vice Mayor German, Commissioner Ramsey, and Commissioner Emory

                                                                      MOTION PASSES (7 to 0)

     No. 2023-04

     To go out of closed session.

                                                                              MOTION PASSES

5.   Adjournment

     The Work Session meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.


                                                          Ann Marie Meisch, MMC - City Clerk


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