City Commission Action Summary, September 20, 2021

City Commission Regular Business Meeting | Monday, September 20, 2021

Watch on YouTube | View the Complete Agenda

Public Hearings

E1. Rezoning of 333 E Alcott Street from Manufacturing – Limited District (M1) to Residential – Multi Dwelling District (RM-24)   | 00:6:15 |
By a 7-0 vote, The City Commission approved rezoning of this parcel.

The applicant, Hollander Development Corporation, intends to build a 48-home development on the site, consisting of multiple three-story “walk-ups”. 12 units would be permanent supportive housing and the remaining 36 would be affordable workforce housing for households earning between $32,520 and $61,320 per year. This action by City Commission rezones the parcel only- this project will still be required to go through the necessary review and approval processes.

On August 9, 2021 the Planning Commission voted 6-1 to recommend approval to the City Commission.

E2. Graphic Packaging Tax Abatement Extension  | 00:35:20 |
Commissioner Knott (supported by Commissioner Cunningham) moved to postpone this item until October 18, 2021. The City Commission approved the motion by a 7-0 vote.

By postponing this item, the City Commission will reconsider it after the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) hosts a community meeting on Tuesday, October 5  about air sampling activities around Graphic Packaging.

The recommendation before City Commission was to approve an extension of the current abatement for 5-years for real property valued at $191,000,000. The Commission had previously approved Graphic Packaging for a PA 198 Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption Certificate (IFEC) on September 21, 2020. That approval was for 12 years, but structured for review and extensions after years 1, 2, 3, and 6. The State of Michigan Tax Commission does not provide contingent abatement certificates and used the earliest term, setting the expiration date for December 30, 2021. To maintain the abatement approved in 2020, the City of Kalamazoo needs to submit another request to the State Tax Commission prior to October 30, 2021.


Consent Agenda  | 2:53:40 |

The following items were approved on the Consent Agenda by a vote of 6-1 (Commissioner Urban voted against):

G1. Contract with MOSS Communications for the Purchase of a Security Camera System (Bid Ref# 68002-003.0)
A $453,602.73 contract was approved with MOSS Communications to purchase a security camera system to serve city facilities. The system will replace separate, outdated systems currently in use with one system that expands coverage. The goal of this project is to improve safety and simplify maintenance needs for the system. The project will begin in 2021 and be completed in 2022. 

G2. Consumers Energy Authorization for Change in Street Lighting Contract – South Street and Westnedge Avenue
The City of Kalamazoo has requested improvements to the street lighting at the intersection of South Street and Westnedge Avenue. Consumers Energy requires a signed resolution for any changes to the standard street lighting contract. 

G3. Authorization for City Manager to Act as Agent/Representative on Behalf of the City of Kalamazoo for a Safe Routes to School Grant Application
The City of Kalamazoo has been working in partnership with Winchell Elementary & Maple Middle Schools and the Vine Neighborhood and Oakland Drive Winchell Avenue Neighborhood Association on a Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program. The goal of the partnership is to improve safety for children walking to and from school.

The City and the two schools are now preparing to apply for an SRTS grant to address the safety issues identified in the SRTS plan. For Winchell Elementary School, the application is for a new sidewalk on the south side of Winchell Avenue between Oakland Drive and Rambling Road with multiple crosswalks linking the south half of the neighborhood to the school. For Maple Middle School, the proposed project is a pedestrian signal at the Howard and Merrill intersection.

If the City and schools are successful in this application, construction of these two projects would occur in 2024.

G4. Resolutions #1-3 Approving the 2020 Kalamazoo Mall Maintenance Agreement
Three resolutions were adopted for the purpose of setting the 2020 Kalamazoo Mall Maintenance Assessment at a per front foot cost of $16.018 and setting a public hearing for October 18, 2021. The assessed rate is an average of the last three years of actual costs to perform this work or the actual cost for the year being assessed, should it be lower than the three-year average. This assessment roll represents only 13% of the 2020 Kalamazoo Mall Maintenance expenditures of $357,821.85. Maintenance activities include the operation, repair, and maintenance of the snow melt system on The Kalamazoo Mall.

G5. Approval of Public Act 325 Certification of Transportation Asset Management Plan
A local road-owning agency with 100 certified miles or more must certify that it has developed an asset management plan for its road, bridge, culvert, and traffic signal assets. Signing this acceptance certifies that the agency meets requirements as outlined by Public Act 325 and agency-defined goals and objectives. This asset management plan is directly related to the City’s current 5-year Capital Improvement Plan as formally presented through the annual budget process.


Regular Agenda  

H1. Acceptance of the City of Kalamazoo's Allocation of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) Grant of $38,872,877 | 2:58:17 |
By a 7-0 vote, the City Commission voted to accept $38,872,877 in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) through the U.S. Department of Treasury.  The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 established SLFRF  to provide funding to support urgent COVID-19 response efforts, address the economic impact of the pandemic, provide stability for people and businesses, and address systemic health and economic challenges, among other approved uses.

H2. Allocation of $1,100,000 of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) to the United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region | 2:59:59 |
By a 7-0 vote, the City Commission approved this allocation to quickly address impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic within Qualified Census Tracts, while additional SLFRF is allocated through the City’s budgeting process. Working in collaboration with the United Way of Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation these dollars will help those experiencing the greatest harms due to the pandemic.

H3. Resolution Declaring Gun Violence a Public Health Crisis and Allocating Funding for Ongoing Community Violence Intervention | 3:09:16 |
By a 7-0 vote, the City Commission adopted this resolution and allocated $1,000,000 of Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) for ongoing community violence intervention. The City Commission has indicated that addressing gun violence is a top priority and has taken previous action to allocate funding towards interventions and support for community members experiencing gun violence trauma. The City and County of Kalamazoo are proceeding with this declaration jointly (to be considered by the Kalamazoo County Commission at its September 21 meeting) and are planning to convene a joint listening session on the topic.

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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     Kalamazoo, MI 49007

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