City Commission Action Summary, Monday, October 18, 2021

City Commission Regular Business Meeting | Monday, October 18, 2021

Watch on YouTube | View the Complete Agenda

Public Hearings

E1. 2020 Kalamazoo Mall Maintenance Assessment | 00:31:55 |
By a 7-0 vote, the City Commission adopted the resolution. The approved assessment reimburses the General Fund for natural gas costs associated with the Kalamazoo Mall’s snow melt system in 2020. Property owners in the assessment area will pay $16.018 per front foot, for a total assessment of $46,456.04.

Consent Agenda  | 3:20:45 |

Items G1, G2, G3, G5, G12, G17 were moved to the Regular Agenda. The remaining items were approved on the Consent Agenda by a vote of 7-0 (Vice Mayor Griffin abstained from voting on item G11)

G1. Item moved to Regular Agenda by citizen request

G2. Item moved to Regular Agenda by citizen request

G3. Item moved to Regular Agenda by citizen request

G4. Contract with Hoffman Brothers for Mountain Home Cemetery Improvements (Bid Ref# 91345-003.0)
A $598,136.10 contract was approved with Hoffman Brothers, Inc. for improvements to Mountain Home Cemetery. Hoffman Brothers, Inc, was the low responsive bidder for this work which includes, roadway repairs, storm structure and retaining wall repairs. This work is funded by a grant from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation and is expected to start as soon as feasible with expected completion in 2022.

G5. Item moved to Regular Agenda by citizen request

G6. Contract Supplemental and Change Order with Carrier & Gable for 2021 Traffic Signal Maintenance (Bid Ref# 000-00-018.9)
A $150,000 contract change order was approved with Carrier & Gable for traffic signal maintenance supplies to be provided through December 31, 2021, bringing the new contract total to $230,000. This change order is necessary for adequate funding on the contract through the remainder of the year with purchases through MiDeal contract pricing.

G7. On-Premises Tasting Room Permit for Brewery Outré, LLC at 567 East Ransom Street (New Harrison Circle Mix-Use Apartment Development Location)
A resolution was adopted from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) recommending approval of an On-Premises Tasting Room Permit for Brewery Outré, LLC to be located at 567 East Ransom Street (New Harrison Circle Mix-Use Apartment Development).

G8. Off-Premises Tasting Room License for Distilled Kalamazoo, LLC DBA Kalamazoo Stillhouse at 1030 Portage Street (Dormouse Theatre)
A resolution was adopted from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) recommending approval of an Off-Premises Tasting Room License for the Distilled Kalamazoo, LLC DBA Kalamazoo Stillhouse to be located at 1030 Portage Street (Dormouse Theatre).

G9. 2021 Redevelopment Liquor License for Dabney & Co/Public Skool, LLC at 344 North Rose Street
A resolution was adopted recommending approval of the application from Dabney & Co/Public Skool, LLC for a Redevelopment Liquor License under PA 501 of 2006 to create a premier venue for people seeking entertainment focused on Jazz, R&B, and Hip-Hop music performances. The project is located within the city’s existing Downtown Development Authority, at 344 North Rose Street. This venue will be a cocktail bar inspired by new urban cultural in downtown offering specialty themed events for the community.

G10. This item was removed from the agenda at the request of the City Manager and will be reconsidered at a later date.

G11. Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) Resolution for the River’s Edge Project Located at 508 Harrison Street and 660 Gull Road
A Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) resolution was adopted for the properties located at 508 Harrison Street (PARCEL NO. 06-15-295-101), and 660 Gull Road (PARCEL NO. 06-15-287-030), for the proposed 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit project. The project will form two parcels, with 111 eligible, affordable units that will be subject to a PILOT resolution and 111 market rate units and commercial portions will be separate parcels under a proposed Brownfield Plan.

G12. This item was moved to the Regular Agenda at the request of the City Manager.

G13. Innerduct Exchange Agreement with Zayo Group, LLC
An innerduct exchange agreement was approved between the City of Kalamazoo and Zayo Group, LLC to expand their existing conduit systems within City limits. This will allow existing utilities to be used for innerduct exchanges as a cost-effective way to meet the growing need for fiber communications. This will allow the City to improve traffic signal connectivity and the ability to monitor and respond to traffic needs, as well as support future uses for internet hot spots, vehicle connectivity, and autonomous driving capabilities.

G14. United Way Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund (KSBLF) Amendment to Services Agreement
Approved authorization for the City Manager to sign the United Way Kalamazoo Small Business Loan Fund (KSBLF) service agreement amendment. The KSBLF program was created to provide a lifeline to small business and their workers, especially businesses with workers in the category of “asset limited, income constrained, employed” (ALICE), and retains workforce capacity.

The expansion of the program will also assist United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region (UWBDKR) and City of Kalamazoo staff in prioritizing a future focus on women-owned and/or BIPOC-owned (black, indigenous, people of color) businesses. Secondary consideration will given to businesses located within the Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo (SPK) neighborhoods (Edison, Northside, and Eastside), with a focus on equity and intersectionality.

G15. 2021 MEDC 140 South Edwards Street Grant Approval
Acceptance of a $100,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for the design and development costs of the 140 South Edward Street mixed-use project; and approved authorization for the City Manager to sign the grant agreement. Grant funds will be used to procure and fund architectural and engineering (A&E) services for the project.

G16. Gilmore Foundation Grant for the Construction of Playground Amenities at Milham Park
Acceptance of a $286,574 grant from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation for the construction of updated playground amenities at Milham Park and approved authorization for the City Manager to sign any related documents.

The current Milham Park playgrounds do not meet safety standards and are in need of an update to make them engaging, fun, safe, and inclusive. This grant will provide funding to complete the installation and construction of three new play areas: one designed specifically for children ages 2-5 years; another for children ages 5-11; and a third will serve as a "quiet" playscape for children with special needs. Equipment will be selected this fall through community engagement and the goal is to complete the project by August 2022.

G17. This item was moved to the Regular Agenda at the request of the Commissioner Praedel following a request by a citizen.


Regular Agenda  

G1. Approve Equipment Lease Purchase Agreement with De Lage Landen Public Finance for Milham Park Golf Course Golf Carts (Bid Ref#00000-021.127) | 3:24:28 |
By a 7-0 vote the Commission approved a lease for 128 golf carts in the amount of $875,254.84 for Milham Park Golf Course. Cart fees generate approximately $270,000 - $300,000 in revenue annually and will cover the lease payments. The cart lease would begin on August 1, 2021 and final payment would be made November 11, 2027.

G2. Approve a sole source purchase of Odor Monitoring and Incident Investigation System from Envirosuite (Bid Ref#00000-021.128) | 3:27:00 |
By an 7-0 vote, the Commission approved a 1-year extension of the lease of odor monitoring, weather monitoring, maintenance, and modelling software with Envirosuite for $113,338. The system helps detect and respond to odor issues in the community by using odor sensors, weather stations, and National Weather Service data to identify potential sources of odor. The 2021 proposal includes the addition of five sensors units bringing the total sensor network to 17 units. The scope of work also includes a public-facing website for sensor readings.

G3. Purchase of Solids Handling / Fine Screen Odor Suppressant Equipment from Solterra (Bid Ref#00000-021.130) | 3:42:52 |
By an 6-1 vote (Vice Mayor Griffin voted against), the Commission approved a contract with Solterra Group, LLC to purchase odor suppressant chemicals in the amount of $109,200. Solterra’s product has proven successful in mitigating odors in the biosolids and fine screen areas of the wastewater treatment plant and reduced odor complaints from the landfills receiving biosolids during a trial period.

G5. Contract with Xylem Vue Inc. for Sanitary Sewer Real-Time Level, Flow and Rain Mentoring Decision Support System (Bid Ref# 89000-005.0) | 3:44:17 |
By an 7-0 vote, the Commission approved a $3,593,556.29 contract with Xylem Vue Inc. for the Sanitary Sewer Real-Time Level, Flow and Rain Monitoring Decision Support System. The system will proactively provide information to operators at the Water Reclamation Plant (WRP) to guide changes in operating levels at the Raw Pump Station. This project helps improve efficiency of operations and right size infrastructure assets to save capital, operational and maintenance cost. Five sensors are currently in place. This installation would add 80 new sensors as well as 20 rain gauge and weather sensors. The information helps staff detect and respond to issues like sanitary sewer overflows and backup events in real-time and minimize their impact in our community.

G12. Resolution to Authorize City Manager to Engage in Collective Bargaining | 3:46:15 |
By an 6-1 vote (Vice Mayor Griffin voted against), the Commission adopted a resolution setting forth the values to guide the City Manager and his designees and authorize them to engage in collective bargaining negotiations with the unions representing Public Safety Department sworn personnel whose contracts expire after December 31, 2021.

G17. Approval of Minutes | 3:44:55 |
By a vote of 7-0, the Commission approved minutes of City Commission business meetings on July 6, July 19, September 7, September 20, September 27, and October 4, and Committee of the Whole meetings on June 7 and July 6.

Unfinished Business

J1. Graphic Packaging Tax Abatement Extension | 3:59:51 |
By a vote of 7-0, the Commission adopted of a resolution approving a one-year extension to the Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption granted to Graphic Packaging in 2020 and approving an amendment to the Exemption Certificate Agreement between the City and Graphic Packaging. Prior to adoption, the resolution was amended to reduce the extension from the proposed term of five years to a term of one year.

Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo Launches New Podcast

Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo (SPK), the City of Kalamazoo’s initiative to share prosperity more broadly in our community, has launched the City’s first ever podcast. The Shared Prosperity Podcast examines issues that unlock or block people’s opportunity to thrive, prosper, and exit poverty.  Episodes incorporate community and economic development elements and include local and national guests. It is geared toward community members, practitioners, and anyone interested in learning about the nuances of this work and hearing stories that are connected to the issues.

The Shared Prosperity Podcast is hosted by Kevin Ford, the City’s Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo Coordinator. Neighborhood Business and Special Projects Coordinator Melody Daacon co-hosts.

Six episodes are currently available to stream, featuring guests like Gwendolyn Hooker of HOPE thru Navigation, Community Activist Ed Genesis, and the Kalamazoo Promise’s Director of Community Collaboration Cyekeia Lee. 

The most recent episode was released October 20 and features Roosevelt Flemming, owner of The Drip. He provides powerful testimony about experiencing housing instability in two different states, system gaps, and his journey to entrepreneurship while raising a child.

The next episode will include a discussion with Upjohn Institute Senior Economist Tim Bartik and Executive Director of Kalamazoo County Ready 4s Kristyn Buhl-Lepisto.

“Poverty is a complex adaptive system,” explained Kevin Ford, “but we often oversimplify the causes and potential solutions to truly construct family wellbeing and achieve systemic change. We’re looking to raise awareness on the many elements that make up this work and elevate the conversation within our community through this popular communications channel.”

“My hope for this podcast is to build trust with our listeners, many of whom are our city residents,” added co-host Melody Daacon. “Our intention is to offer a platform for leaders in our community to discuss difficult systemic issues at a table together in person. I believe this is our work.”  

To subscribe and follow the podcast, interested listeners can access the following podcast apps - Apple, Google, Spotify, Radio Public, Pocket Casts, and Breaker. You can also visit Public Media Network at  to listen.

Listeners of the podcast can contact the show hosts at to provide feedback and ideas for the podcast or to suggest guests for the show.

About Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo

Shared Prosperity Kalamazoo was created in 2014 when the Kalamazoo City Commission made poverty reduction a priority for the City. SPK leads these efforts and emphasizes not just reducing poverty, but truly extending prosperity to all Kalamazoo residents. With funding from the Foundation for Excellence, SPK has expanded its two-generation approach and helped fund eight local organizations providing two-generation programming including neighborhood-based workforce development, homeownership, expanded childcare access, and family educational programming. SPK has previously helped fund a pilot Certified Nursing Assistant training program at the Northside Association for Community Development, a STEAM program for youth in the Eastside Neighborhood, an income tax assistance program, and support for residents reentering our community after being incarcerated.

City of Kalamazoo

Home to the Kalamazoo Promise, three institutions of higher education, two nationally recognized healthcare systems, cutting-edge medical research, world-class brewing and dining, outstanding parks, and an extensive variety of music, art, theatre, and cultural attractions.

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 241 West South Street
     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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