City Commission Worksession Minutes 02-13-2023

View the PDF version Google Docs PDF Viewer View the Video

                                           City of Muskegon

                                            Work Session


                                   February 13, 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 Teresa Emory

Absent:                    Commissioner Michael Ramsey

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

1.     Call to Order

       The Worksession meeting was called to order by Mayor Johnson at 5:30 p.m.

2.     New Business

       2.a       Police K9 Unit Proposal

                 Sergeant Bridget Bofysil to present K9 Unit Proposal with K9 Nitro, K9 Sully and
                 K9 Conan.

                 Public Safety Director, Tim Kozal, gave an overview of the potential K9 program
                 and talked about how it would be beneficial to the city and introduce Sgt.
                 Bofysil. Sgt. Bofysil had her dog Nitro with her and comes to the City with 14
                 years of experience in training and handline K9 dogs. She provided information

      to the commission about the different areas that the K9's can be certified in and
      the training that they go through.

      The Police K9 has a unique impact on the community it serves. The K9s are, most
      importantly, some of the best and most-loved ambassadors of the department -
      appearing at special events and interacting with the community for public
      relations purposes. While most people are hesitant to start a conversation with
      an officer, they will not think twice about asking to pet the dog. A K9 can both
      provide valuable tools for the department and break down barriers between the
      police and the public they serve. These dogs assist in a myriad of areas: drug
      enforcement, explosives detection, tracking, search and rescue, finding
      evidence, officer safety and apprehending fleeing subjects through use of non-
      lethal force. The addition of a K9 team would be another tool for the department
      to utilize to reduce crime, provide professional police services, and create a
      positive connection to the City of Muskegon. K9 appearances at local events are
      natural opportunities to create a connection between the community and the

      Discussion took place regarding the program and the Police Department will
      work to create policies and a budget to assess the feasibility. Sgt. Bofysil has
      volunteered to train additional dogs as well as dog handlers and also
      volunteered the use of her dogs for the program.

2.b   1033 Program Presentation

      The Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) is a division under the United States
      Department of Defense (DoD) responsible for managing the "1033 Program",
      which transfers excess weapons, equipment, and vehicles from the United States
      Armed Forces to civilian law enforcement agencies. Since inception, nearly
      10,000 jurisdictions have received more than $7 billion worth of equipment.
      There is no cost to become a member of this program and equipment is free.
      Shipping costs are sometimes associated. There are strict state oversite
      mechanisms for inventory control.

      The Muskegon Police Department is now a part of the program. We will monitor
      for available equipment that can benefit the department. We are not interested
      in any vehicles.

      Public Safety Director Tim Kozal wants to bring to the attention of the
      commission the availability of a program by which the city of Muskegon will be

      able to acquire military equipment under the 1033 Program. This will help to
      defray costs of the ongoing needs of our police department.

      Discussion took place regarding the program.

2.c   Marihauna Ordinance and Social Equity

      Staff would like to discuss adding “Processing” as a special use permitted in B-2,
      B-4, MC, I-1 and I-2 zoning districts. Staff will also present the draft Request for
      Proposal for expungement clinics.

      In 2020, in an effort to help residents enter the marihuana industry, the
      Commission approved “Microbusinesses,” “Class B Rec Grows (500 plants)” and
      “Consumption Establishments” in B-2, B-4, MC, I-1 and I-2 zoning districts. It
      appears as though processing was overlooked, since processing is an allowed use
      at microbusinesses. Processing was left out of the license types allowed by the
      city for a number of reasons. It may be time to consider adding this license type
      to what is allowed.

      RFP for Expungement Program. This is a basic RFP to invite companies propose
      costs and procedures to conduct a one-time clinic, three over the course of a
      year. We anticipate the service to be at no cost to city residents, non-residents
      may assume some costs for fingerprinting. We may only serve city residents. The
      commission wants to pay all of the fees for residents, app fee, fingerprinting,
      background checks, etc....we may need to have city staff available to determine
      residency and collect appropriate fees from non-residents.

      Discussion took place regarding the proposed revision to the Marihuana
      Ordinance as it pertains to allowed license types. This will be addressed again at
      a later date. The Commission also discussed the Expungement Clinic(s) RFP that
      will go out soon.

2.d   Arena Solar Power Purchase Agreement - DPW and Arena

      Staff presented a revised solar power purchase agreement (PPA) for the arena.

      This item was discussed at the July, 2020 work session and the April 27th, 2021
      regular meeting before being approved in a prior format at the June 8th, 2021
      meeting. Due to tax issues, it was then rescinded at the June 14th, 2022 meeting.

      The tax issues have been resolved due to additional incentives being available, so
      a new financier (Sunwealth, LLC) has agreed to take the project on. Staff and our

           consultant, Charthouse Energy, will present the project and its anticipated
           benefits for discussion. The proposed PPA agreement is included for review.

           Discussion took place and this item will be returned to Commission at a later

     2.e   Landscaping Contract - DPW

           Staff will present the results of the landscaping RFP and a cost share for

           Staff has worked with the Downtown BID, DDA, Chamber and other stakeholders
           to develop a landscaping contract that covers a wide array of landscaping
           services currently provided through the City Parks Department. There is a desire
           among the stakeholders to improve the level of service being provided, and a
           desire among city staff to free up staffing resources to improve service in other
           areas of the city parks. The RFP was presented to the Commission at the
           November 7, 2022 combined work session and regular meeting.

           The contract proposes eight (8) areas identified on the included map, with each
           area having a distinct scope of work and a proposed assigned cost share, as a 3-
           year contract with optional extensions for a 4th and 5th year. The original RFP
           included work in the Lakeside area, but those businesses have decided not to
           participate at this time.

           The DDA and Downtown BID will have a similar discussion earlier in the day on
           the 13th of February, specifically to review the cost share proposal that is
           included herein for your review. The Downtown BID is expiring, so the
           organizations are jointly deciding how to fund their share going forward.
           Depending on the outcome of all of these discussions, the City will manage the
           contract and invoice the other organizations for their share as shown in the

           AMOUNT REQUESTED: $27,840 Parks/General           AMOUNT BUDGETED: $0 FY23

           AMOUNT REQUESTED: $7,920 Farmers Market AMOUNT BUDGETED: As
           Needed FY24

           FUND OR ACCOUNTS: 101-770 (Parks) & 101-808 (Farmers Market)

           Discussion took place regarding the landscaping contracts, this item will be
           considered at a later date.

3.   Public Comment

     Public comment was received.

4.   Closed Session

     4.a   Land Acquisition

           No. 2023-23

           Motion by: Commissioner St.Clair
           Second by: Vice Mayor German

           Motion to go into closed session to consider material exempt from discussion or
           disclosure by state or federal statute, specifically being an attorney client
           confidential communication.

           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. 2023-24

           Motion by: Commissioner Gorman
           Second by: Commissioner Emory

           To go into open session.

                                                                             MOTION PASSES

     4.b   Pending Litigation

           No. 2023-25

           Motion by: Commissioner St.Clair
           Second by: Commissioner Gorman

           To go into closed session to consult with our attorney regarding trial and
           settlement strategy in connection with West Michigan Dock and Market
           Corporation versus City of Muskegon, Muskegon County Circuit Court Case
           Number 22-003962 CZ because an open meeting would have a detrimental
           financial effect on the litigating and settlement position of the City of Muskegon.

            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. 2023-26

            Motion by: Commissioner St.Clair
            Second by: Commissioner Gorman

            To go into open session.

                                                                          MOTION PASSES

5.   Adjournment

     The Work Session meeting went into closed session at 6:55 and adjourned at 8:20 p.m..


                                                                    Respectfully Submitted,

                                                       Ann Marie Meisch, MMC - City Clerk


Top of Page

New Agenda Notifications

* indicates required