Barton Hills Village, Michigan

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July 17, 2006

July 17, 2006

The regular meeting of the Board of Trustees was called to order by President Laporte at 6:06 PM at the Village Hall.

ROLL CALL     Present:  Trustees Al-Awar, Boddie, Bogat, Butterwick, Laporte, MacKrell and Wilkes; Atty. Reading, Asst. Treas. Redies and Supt. Esch;  BHMC President Bultman.  Absent: Trustees Lindstrom and Perry.


MINUTES     Motion     Mr. Wilkes moved that the minutes of the June 19, 2006 Trustees meeting be approved with the following corrections:
--page 1, paragraph 3, line 14:  "…Americans with Disabilities Act Michigan Accessibility  Code."
--page 6, paragraph 5, line 2.  "…to the area.  Mr. Esch was asked to talk with the Weisers about Mr. Wilkes' suggestion to place some stones on the road edge in question.  After Colliston Road is paved, Mr. Esch was authorized to place rocks on the road edge in question to prevent further damage."
Mr. Boddie seconded;  the motion carried.

Mrs. Esch noted that no changes were made in the May 16, 2006 minutes that were approved contingent on review of the tape.

FINANCE     Mrs. Redies read the cash balances as of July 17, 2006:

Cash Balances
General Fund
        Checking Account              $  11,814
        Savings                              501,135
Total General Fund                      $512,949

Public Improvement Reserve Fund
        Savings                            $140,763

Motor Vehicle Highway Fund
        Savings                            $110,330

        Bank One Govt. Trust Account     $ 220,136
        Bank One CD                               100,000
        Bank of Ann Arbor                        121,057
        Ann Arbor Commerce Bank CD        109,776
        United Bank & Trust Washtenaw     101,259
        Flagstar Bank CD                          100,000
Total Savings                                    $ 752,228      

Mrs. Redies also referred to the comparison report attached to the agenda, and distributed the Financial Report dated June 30, 2006 which contains the list of disbursements for the quarter.

Motion     Mr. Wilkes moved that the first quarter cash disbursements be approved (See Aux. Book XII D).  Mr. Boddie seconded;  the motion carried.

BUILDINGS     Ms. Laporte referred to Mr. Lindstrom's email concerning the estimate received from Penchansky Whisler architectural firm for the VAC project.  The architect listed the building for about $432,000, paving/landscaping/utilities at $130,000, contingencies at $68,000, drawings/construction management at $65,000 and architect fees at $56,000 for a total of almost $800,000 for the entire project.  Mr. Lindstrom indicated that this was unaffordable, and proposed three options:  1) obtain a quotation from another architect, 2) investigate modular construction costs, or 3) consider renting office space in the Ann Arbor area.  Discussion by the Trustees included the following:
--The cost of $432,000 for a 1,800 square foot building is about $240/square foot, which would be high for residential construction (not sure how municipal construction costs differ from residential).
--When comparing costs, such as stick-built to modular, it's essential to compare just the cost of the building rather than the entire project.
--The basement should also be taken into account when comparing plans.
--It is suggested that architectural fees range from 9-15% of total cost of a project.  If the proposed $56,000 is applied just to the building, it is about 13%;  if applied to the entire project it is about 11%.
--Even the cost without the architect's fees ($432,000 for the building + $130,000 for the utilities/paving/landscaping + $68,000 for contingencies = $630,000) is about the amount of the last proposal that was rejected by the residents as too high.  Also, the last proposal would have provided more buildings, so more product value for the money.
--This estimate is obviously way too expensive to be considered.  Even if the funds were available, it is too much for what would be provided.
--By way of comparison, rental space along Plymouth Road could probably be found for around $5,000/year.  Residential homes of similar size can be purchased for $200,000.
--Does Ann Arbor Township have any space available for rent?  Probably not, since they are adding on to increase their space.
--Would Mrs. Esch be agreeable to renting space outside BHV?  Only for records storage--it would be very difficult to carry on day-to-day work from a distance, especially given the interaction with the maintenance staff that is necessary for efficient operation.
--The Board needs to decide what is an affordable amount and work from that.  The amount should include everything--utilities, landscaping, paving, furniture--everything.
--The amount listed in the estimate for paving/parking seems very high.  Could that be done by a paving company like the roads are done?  It is estimated that paving costs about $3/square foot, so this project could run about $5,000 for the driveway plus more for the parking area.  That's a lot less than in this estimate.
--Can we be our own general contractor and save some money that way?  Possibly, although general contractors are there for a reason, to help avoid costly mistakes.
--It appears that anything considered acceptable functionally will be unaffordable.  We need to determine what amount the Board is willing to support.  Last time it was $600,000, which the Board supported but the residents did not.  What do we consider affordable?

The Trustees were polled as to what figure they thought would be reasonable for the entire project.  Amounts ranged from $300,000 - 450,000.  Ms. Laporte referred again to Mr. Lindstrom's email to determine what the committee was asking for.  The email stated that the cost of the estimate from Penchansky Whisler was inconsistent with the cost-effective goal of the VAC Committee, and therefore would not be pursued.  Three options were suggested by Mr. Lindstrom:  1) obtain an estimate from Cornerstone Design, 2) investigate a system-built rather than design-built structure, or 3) rent space rather than build.                                                                                     Mrs. MacKrell arrived

Motion     Ms. Bogat moved that the Village Administration Center Committee be asked to provide a proposal(s) that would accomplish the goals of the VAC project at a total cost of not more than $380,000.  Mr. Wilkes seconded;  the motion carried.

The content of the discussion and the suggestions made for possibilities to investigate (i.e. break the project into parts completed by different companies, investigate modular products, compare prices of rental space, investigate modification of a developer or other home) will be relayed to the VAC Committee.

FINANCE     Mr. Boddie had no report.

LONG RANGE PLANNING      Mrs. MacKrell expressed optimism concerning a recent meeting between LRP Committee members and Michigan Department of Transportation representatives to discuss further improvements to the M-14/Barton Drive interchange.

PERSONNEL     Ms. Laporte had no report.

RECREATION      Ms. Bogat reported that 61 people attended the recent Village Picnic.                                                                                                                                                                     Expenses for food and tableware totaled $154.78.  Appreciation was expressed to Ms. Bogat and Dave and Jan Esch for their efforts in making the picnic an enjoyable event.                                                                                                           

Ms. Bogat also presented the results of her investigations concerning the tennis courts.  The company that rebuilt the courts at Barton Hills Country Club provided estimates from $50,000 (complete rebuilding, or patch/coat with skin-type surface) to $9,000 (patching alone).  The representative advised that all courts crack eventually, with no reliable way to predict how long a surface would hold.  Other provider websites indicate a variety of surface/price options.  It was agreed that the cracks should be attended to, but not for a substantial cost.  Mr. Esch noted that the cracks have been filled with road asphalt in previous years.  Ms. Bogat will continue investigation.

ROADS      Mr. Al-Awar stated that paving of Country Club and Collison Roads will begin as soon as Washtenaw County obtains the permit needed to include their portion outside the West Entrance, possibly later this week.  Mr. Wilkes was thanked for his help in obtaining permission to use Motor Vehicle Highway funds for the project.  Mrs. Esch will include contact information in the Barton Bulletin for those who wish to have their driveways paved while the company is in the area;  also to provide notice so residents can avoid the roads being paved.  Mr. Al-Awar confirmed that there is not adequate space on Underdown Road near the Upper Gate for a speed table, and agreed to evaluate that street for paving next year.   

SECURITY     Mr. Butterwick had no report.
VEHICLES/EQUIPMENT     Mr. Al-Awar had no report.  He noted that AT&T (now Cingular) had completed their modification of telecommunications equipment on the water tower.  They have supplied a written liability statement and will provide project summary plans indicating what work was done.  

WATER     Mr. Wilkes distributed a written report, noting progress on replacement Well #1.  Two new pumps are required for the site.

Motion     Mrs. MacKrell moved to authorize expenditure of $2,500 for a chlorine pump and phosphate pump for Well #1 as recommended by the Water Committee.  Mr. Al-Awar seconded;  the motion carried.

Mr. Wilkes' report also listed details of the water testing situation that resulted in a warning notice being issued on July 12, 2006.  Mr. Esch has been in frequent contact with Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) staff.  The water tower and several mains have been flushed, chlorine injection increased and more samples taken, but there is still no clear indication what is causing the problem.  Leaking drainfields have been suggested, but that is unlikely, given that the mains are under positive pressure and material is not sucked into the system.  Tests indicate that the source water is clear of contamination.  The last similar situation occurred in October 1998 and was resolved in six days following one unacceptable water sample.  Water quality samples are taken monthly at three sites dictated by MDEQ.  On-site consultation with MDEQ staff did not result in any clues to the source of trouble.  More testing conducted this week will hopefully show acceptable results, and notice will be given as soon as water quality is assured.  

ZONING     Mr. Perry was absent.

Motion     Mrs. MacKrell moved that discussion of the Proposed Zoning Amendment tabled to the July 17, 2006 Board of Trustees meeting be further tabled to the August 21, 2006 Board of Trustees meeting.  Mr. Al-Awar seconded;  the motion carried.

BHMC LIAISON     Ms. Laporte had no report.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT     Mr. Butterwick will follow up on the moving of some concrete culverts from resident property at 200 Barton North Drive.

POOL     Ms. Laporte had no new information, but stated it seemed doubtful that residents would be willing to support expenditures on the pool, given the funding that will be necessary for the VAC project.  Further investigation will include options for filling in the pool.

NEW BUSINESS     Discussion focused on suggestions for making the Trustee meetings more efficient and not so lengthy.  Atty. Reading verified that meeting procedures could be set by the Board with no advance/public notice.  It was generally agreed that a very formal style was not desired, but that a more focused effort would result in more productive meetings.  Following comments and a poll of the Trustees, the group agreed to several changes on a trial basis:
--Two hours or less is the optimum time goal.
--The agenda will be set using a time allotment for each subject.
--Trustees will submit written reports by email to Mrs. Esch no later than the Tuesday evening prior to the Monday meeting.  Along with the reports will be a request for as much (or little) time as the Trustee feels is necessary to consider his/her topic.
--Ms. Laporte and Mrs. Esch will set the agenda on Wednesday prior to the Monday meeting, with email distribution of the agenda and attached reports on Thursday.
--Trustees will attempt to be concise and prepared in their discussion.
--Discussion will flow in a congenial way with humor and collegiality, but secondary conversations among individuals will be avoided.
--Atty. Reading will serve as timekeeper.  If a topic is still under discussion when time is noted, the group will decide whether to end discussion or continue and make adjustments in the remainder of the agenda to stay within the time goal.
--Minutes will be sent by email to Trustees five to ten days following each meeting to allow for comments/corrections before being sent with the agenda.
--Trustees are asked to respond to emails sent by Mrs. Esch to confirm receipt.
--The BHMC President plays a role somewhere in between the general public and the Trustees and will participate accordingly.
--Minutes, agendas and reports will be published on the BHV website to allow the public to participate more meaningfully in the meetings if they wish.
--Confidential legal opinions will be circulated on paper rather than by email.

Mrs. MacKrell called attention to a public gathering on the Village Green on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 regarding the proposed Ann Arbor Township Safety Millage.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:30 PM.

Jan Esch, Assistant Clerk