City Commission Worksession Minutes 04-10-2023

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                                         City of Muskegon
                                           Work Session

                                    April 10, 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
                           Commissioner Michael Ramsey
                           Commissioner Teresa Emory

Absent:                    Vice Mayor Willie German, Jr.

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

1.     Call to Order

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

2.     New Business

       2.a       Animal Ordinance, Chickens - Planning

                 Staff will be presenting on how other municipalities regulate the keeping of
                 chickens. Many municipalities that allow chickens have a limit of four. Some
                 municipalities require a permitting process while others do not. Some that
                 require permits also require approval from neighbors.

                 The Planning Department reviewed ordinances from other cities with regard to
                 the ability to keep chickens in the city and presented it to the Commission.
                 Discussion took place regarding revision to our current ordinance, which only
                 allows one chicken. Commissioners have received positive feedback from the

      public when posting on their personal Facebook page about this topic. There is
      consensus to not allow roosters. It seems that somewhere between four and six
      chickens is the appropriate amount. Neighbors don't need to be asked for
      permission but should be notified. There will be a permit process. After the first
      year, they may be able to receive a permit for a longer period. There would be a
      need to reduce the minimum lot size as there are some lots in the city that are
      only 3,000 or 4,000 square feet. The City of Grand Rapids has an ordinance that
      looks like a good place to start. Planning staff will use this feedback to create a
      revision to our ordinance and present it at a future meeting for consideration.

2.b   Muskegon Social Equity Program – Education Funds - Planning

      A representative from “Mediation & Restorative Services” will be presenting
      their proposal to provide education and harm reduction services.

      The MSEP fund allocated $13,720 towards education and harm reduction in
      2021 and the funds were spent on billboard advertisements and marihuana lock

      The MSEP fund allocated $47,420 towards education and harm reduction in
      2022 but the funds have not been spent yet. After discussions at the December
      2022 work session, staff reached out to some agencies that could potentially
      assist in education and harm reduction programs and was impressed with the
      potential services that Mediation & Restorative Services could provide.

      Mike Franzak, Planning Manager, spoke briefly about Mediation and Restorative
      Services, the organization has provided community conflict resolution services
      for 29 years and restorative justice services for 21 years. The funding would be
      used to provide community prevention and education services as well as family
      and youth directed services. Jackie Hallberg, Executive Director of Mediation and
      Restorative Services, and Sara DelaRosa, Program Manager of Exit Program -
      which is a prison re-entry program, spoke more about how their organization
      can work with and for the city to provide education and harm reduction services
      relative to marihuana.

2.c   Marihuana Excise Tax - Planning

      Staff would like to have a discussion on how to allocate this year’s marihuana
      excise tax revenue as it pertains to the Muskegon Social Equity Program.

      Discussion took place regarding the best allocation of the dollars received from
      the marihuana excise tax. Part of the discussion was about the potential of

      having a single point of contact at the City for all things related to marihuana and
      marihuana businesses. It was suggested that there could be someone that
      manages the social equity programs, works with marihuana businesses, and
      participates in other marihuana related activities. The Planning Manager will
      take this into consideration and see what the dedicated staff in other cities are
      responsible for.

      There was discussion about allocating a percentage of the tax to other budget
      funds. Some could go to Parks & Rec, Street Fund, Public Safety, etc. Perhaps the
      percentage of the tax that is allocated can be redistributed. Staff will work on the
      budget regarding these funds and have some proposals for Commission

2.d   MSEP – Expungement Clinics - Planning

      Staff has received three proposals in response to the RFP for expungement clinic

      Each of three vendors presented an overview of their proposal to provide
      Expungement Clinics for the city in response to an RFP. Discussion took place
      about which vendor or vendors to use for expungement clinics. In essence,
      Commissioners support the proposal from GUNNS for three clinics, would like to
      contribute to/partially fund the clinic for Stash Ventures, and would like to see
      more sponsors and revised budget from Cannas Capital and potentially
      contribute to/partially fund a clinic for this vendor. The Planning Department will
      formalize this for a future meeting for the Commission to vote on.

2.e   ARPA Community Grant Program Update - Manager's Office

      Staff update on the City’s ARPA Community Grant Program as well as the
      creation of the Grant Review Committee.

      On February 14th, the City Commission authorized the dedication of $1.6M from
      the City’s remaining allocation of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) federal
      stimulus funds for the creation of a city-sponsored ARPA Community Grant

      An ARPA Community Grant Review Committee is to be established to review
      eligible applications and submit recommendations to the Commission. The
      Commission will review and make funding decisions at a Regular Committee

           The Review Committee is comprised of (6) members: one representative from
           each of the (4) City Commission Wards, the City Manager and the Director of the
           Community and Neighborhood Services Department. Two representative(s) from
           local Community Based Organizations will also be included to act in an advisory
           role only which will include the United Way of the Lakeshore and Community
           Foundation for Muskegon County.

           Pete Wills, Strategic Initiative Director, provided an update on ARPA Allocations.
           60 applications were received for a total ask of 7.9 million dollars of the 1.6
           million dollar allocation. 31 applications were from non profit organizations. Four
           applications were from Neighborhood Associations, 19 applications were from
           Small Businesses. Applications will be reviewed by the committee (manager,
           CNS Director, one member of the public from each of four wards - United Way
           and Community Foundation will act in an advisory capacity). It is expected that
           the committee to be able to review the applications by mid-May. Staff worked
           with organizations to ensure everyone that wanted to could apply.

     2.f   Parkland Marina Development Purchase Agreement Amendment - Manager's

           Staff has worked with Parkland Properties to update the current purchase
           agreement for the Parkland Marina Development. This update was made
           following feedback from Commissioners. This is only for discussion during the
           work session with possible inclusion for approval on the April 25th agenda.

           Jonathan Seyferth, City Manager, presented amendments to the Third Street
           Pier Development Agreement. John Rooks, owner and developer, answered
           questions from the commission about the project, mostly as it relates to public
           access. This item will be on the agenda at a later meeting for consideration.

3.   Public Comment

     Public comment was received.

4.   Adjournment

     The Work Session meeting adjourned at 8:32 p.m.


                                                                     Respectfully Submitted,

                                                        Ann Marie Meisch, MMC - City Clerk


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