NOVI, Mich.- The Novi City Council convened for a special meeting on July 17, to focus on studying plans for both road construction and for the potential building of a community center in Novi.
“We were able to create a committee,” Mayor Pro-Tem Dave Staudt said. “My goals going in were getting work done on neighborhood roads, getting work on roads that have economic payback and mitigating traffic, and I don’t know if council share my goals but we were able to create a committee to study it.”
“I think it was an accomplishment,” said Councilwoman Doreen Poupard. “It could’ve just been a regular study session but we came out of it with legitimate plans and direction for improvements we want to make going forward.”
A primary question going in to the meeting was whether there was going to be enough time to be able to approve a bond to fund the road construction and put it on the ballot for the upcoming November elections, a question that was answered early on.
“It’s much too late to make a November ballot,” said Mayor Bob Gatt. “We would be grossly rushed and we wouldn’t be able to vet the good or the bad in any of these projects, and because of this we have to slow down the process, although I’m hoping we could address it next spring.”
Barring any changes that could come in the November elections, major focuses of the committee that created from this session are likely going to be topics similar to the goals that Staudt mentioned previously, although it’s not clear whether all council members have similar goals at the forefront.
“I do believe firmly from my perspective the first should be focusing on these major road improvements and getting this work done,” said council member Laura Casey, who was the one that originally pushed the study session at a previous city council meeting.
While it’s easy to think main roads deserve primary attention, it’s fair to point out that when it comes to roads that Novi has full control over to work on, that control resides in neighborhood roads, a detail that Staudt would point out.
“What’s the point of having goals on things that you have no control over,” said Staudt. “We have control over neighborhood roads. We don’t have control over roads like 10 and 12 Mile. Traffic is still going to be bad regardless if we add one or two more lanes. Why wouldn’t we want to focus on fixing neighborhood roads and increase property values and get something out of our investment.”
As it came to the plans for a community center, all council members agreed that the concept is great, but planning is only just in the beginning stages and nothing is guaranteed as of this point.
“A community center is the one of the only big things missing from the community,” said Staudt. “Giving kids somewhere where they can go and swim indoors and play basketball and indoor volleyball is something that residents care about. The only problem is that there’s not very many places where right now we could think of renovating and establishing a location.”