Citizens District Council Minutes 01-08-2008

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Citizen’s District Council Meeting
City of Muskegon CDBG
Muskegon, Michigan
Tuesday, January 8, 2008


The meeting was called to order by Patricia Montney at 5:35 p.m.


Roll call was taken by Liz Parker.

Present:             Patricia Montney, Marcia Hovey-Wright, James A. Dalum, G.
                     Ellouise Hieftje, Addie Sanders-Randall, Virgie Jackson, Michael J.
                     Miller, Ryan McCabe

Excused:             Dan Rinsema-Sybenga, Stephen Gawron

Staff Present:       Wilmern Griffin, Liz Parker


Michael Miller made a motion to approve the minutes from the last meeting (August 21,
2007). Virgie Jackson seconded. Motion passes. Michael Miller asked if it is possible
to get the minutes prior to the meetings. Liz Parker stated she will be sending out the
minutes from each meeting by the end of the same week.


There was no old business to discuss.


   • Update on Anticipated 2008 – 2009 CDBG/HOME Funding
Wil Griffin stated there will probably be a five percent cut in the 2008 – 2009 CDBG
funding, which will bring the grant under $1,000,000 for the first time in history since
1974. He thinks the funds will probably be around $960,000 - $970,000. We usually
get additional funds from the Program Incomes (emergency repairs, repaying when a
homeowner sells their house prior to the forgiveness limit, etc.). Considering how bad

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the housing market currently is, he will be happy if we get at least $30,000 - $40,000.
He expects the HOME funds to stay around $300,000. Wil also handed out a chart
showing how we are getting less and less funds each year. He suggested writing our
congressmen and senators to give more money for next year’s funding.

   • Review of Last Year’s Funding
Wil Griffin gave out handouts of the approved proposals for 2006 – 2007 and 2007 –
2008. It was questioned why 2006 – 2007 Total Requested Amount was in red. Wil
said more money was requested than was available.

    • Proposed Fire Department Funding
Wil Griffin informed the Council the City Administration is proposing using CDBG
funding to repay the 2006 bonds for the new Central Fire Station. Marcia Hovey-Wright
suggested they opposed the proposal. Patricia Montney thought there was a Chronicle
article stating the Fire Station was a rental. Michael Miller questioned why we are
funding this for 25 year and why for such large the amounts. Marcia questioned if this
project was an eligible CDBG expense. Wil said it was. Virgie Jackson wants to know
what happens if we flat out say ‘No’ to the proposal. Marcia wants to have Bryon
Mazade and Tim Paul address the group and explain this request. Wil said he would
contact Bryon Mazade and Tim Paul. Michael also mentioned new businesses coming
downtown are getting a tax break but still get use of the new Fire Station. Pat wanted to
know if funds from the old station, when it’s sold, would be used to offset our bond
payments. Pat wants a presentation from City Administration and Marcia agreed.

    • Set Schedule for Reviewing Proposals for 2008 – 2009
Ten applications were mailed out to potential recipients and eight applications were sent
out to internal departments. Michael Miller questioned if the code enforcement for
Zoning was business or residential as there are some businesses on Third that are in
just as bad shape as some residential homes. Wil will contact Mike Cameron in Zoning
and have him contact Michael directly. The dates set for the Reviews are Monday,
February 4; Tuesday, February 5; Monday, February 11 and Tuesday, February 12. All
meetings will start at 5:30 p.m. in Conference Room 203. Note the Tuesday, February
5th meeting is also a regularly scheduled CDC meeting so some regular business will
also be discussed. Patricia Montney pointed out these four meeting will be considered
one big meeting, starting on Monday, February 4 and ending on Tuesday, February 12.
Pat also wanted to know when the books with the proposals would be sent out. Wil
hopes to get them out by January 25th.

    • Review of Current and Future Projects
Patricia Montney questioned where Lead grant money came from. Wil Griffin said
previous projects came from CDBG funds, but that Community and Neighborhood
Services had received a separate Lead Grant of approximately $2,000,000. CNS had a
kick-off event at L. C. Walker Arena Annex to make people aware of the program and to
start getting people signing up for the program. The grant states 104 rental homes, 66
owner-occupied home and 15 vacant homes will be abated of lead. Marcia Hovey-
Wright wanted to know exactly what lead abatement was. Wil explained houses get
tested for free. If they are found to have lead, and there are children in the house under
six years of age (especially with elevated blood levels) or pregnant women, they would
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get priority treatment. Lead abatement includes putting vinyl siding over lead painted
houses, painting over insides, adding additional flooring, etc. Through the Lead
Program, CNS is currently doing outreach and taking names. Partners include
Muskegon County Health Department, Muskegon Community Health Project and
landlords from the Landlord Association. If you are a landlord, it will cost your $1,500
and you will receive up to $8,000 in repairs. If you are the homeowner, it will cost you

Wil also discussed the homes the City of Muskegon has for sale and distributed the
flyer. One house not on the flyer yet is currently being rehabbed at 1581 Division and
the house at 539 Orchard is waiting appraisal. Marcia Hovey-Wright noted the house
that sold was the least expensive of all our houses. Wil explained the houses are
initially appraised and we sell them for less. Example, the house appraises for $90,000
and CNS sells it for $75,000.

Wil also discussed the recent Anti-Litter Poster Campaign, sponsored by Operation
R&R, held for schools East of Seaway Drive. These included Nelson, McLaughlin,
Marquette and Steele. Each student in these schools had the opportunity to draw a
poster about cleaning up their neighborhood. Wil had one large poster of the winning
drawings. They were from first grade through 10th grade. Each winner was recognized
at a City Commission meeting where they received a Certificate of Appreciation. All
winners will also receive a savings bond: First place - $100, Second place - $75 and
Third place - $50.


    • Confirm Contact Information for all Members
Liz Parker confirmed everyone’s contact information and also got some email
addresses. Future correspondence, if application, will be sent via email to those
recipients: Marcia Hovey-Wright, Michael Miller, Patricia Montney, Addie Sanders-
Randall, and Dan Rinsema-Sybenga. Everyone else will get correspondence via US
Mail. Marcia Hovey-Wright asked if it was OK to share the list with everyone. Everyone
in attendance agreed. Liz will contact those who were absent, confirm their contact
information and get their permission to share the list.


Patricia Montney adjourned the meeting at 6:31 p.m.

REMINDER – the next meetings will be February 4, 5, 11 & 12 at 5:30 p.m. in
Conference Room 203

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